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Northern California Family Travels To New York For 9/11 Tribute

August 18, 2011

By Steven Sandberg

SEIAD VALLEY, Calif. — With the 10-year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks less than a month away, an area firefighter is preparing for a trip to New York to honor the brother he lost in the World Trade Center.

Retired New York City Firefighter Ralph Geidel says he can’t believe it’s already been 10 years since his firefighter brother Gary died in the terrorist attacks. He and his wife are traveling to New York, and they’re taking the support of their entire small community with them.

Ralph will set out on a cross-country motorcycle trip with his son early next week, and plans to arrive in New York for the anniversary. Ralph’s wife Barbara has been selected to help read names of the victims at the ceremony at Ground Zero. They said this is their first trip to New York on September 11th, and it will likely be their last.

“Hopefully it will be more of a cleansing thing,” says Ralph Geidel. “I can get a lot of bad memories out of my mind, and try to think all good things. Show my brother, through my eyes, the beauty of the country.”

The Geidels will also be bringing a chainmail flag made by a Seiad Valley artist. It’s made of 16,000 rings and is the first chainmail flag to be crafted, according to the United States flag code. The flag will be presented to Rescue One in New York, the same department where Ralph’s brother Gary was stationed.