Under the warm sun and the sound of bagpipes, approximately 250 visitors watched as the Fenton Fire Department revealed its new 9/11 memorial, built and installed over a period of weeks in front of the Fenton Fire Hall.
After a brief ceremony, which included the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner and words from several speakers, the monument itself was revealed to the group of onlookers, many taking photos and videos of the event.
At the moment it was unveiled, Mayor Sue Osborn said, “It was so emotional I started crying. It's just such a beautiful memorial and such a great dedication from the city of Fenton.”
“It was very emotional for me,” said Deputy Fire Chief Ed Hadfield, because of the work that had gone into the monument. “Many hours. It's very personal for me.”
Firefighters raised funds and built the memorial themselves, with half of the $20,000 overall cost coming from the city of Fenton. The monument was supplied by Fenton Memorials.
The memorial itself has several pieces, all with symbolism. The path leading to the monument is flanked with spots of tall grass — symbolizing the field in Pennsylvania where one of the planes crashed. The concrete where the monument sits is in the shape of a pentagon, for the Pentagon building, which also was attacked.
The monument is made up of two vertical pieces of granite representing the two World Trade Center towers, with images and inscriptions on either side, and includes a piece of steel from one of the towers, which the fire department procured in 2011.
“It shows our appreciate not just for the people who lost their loves that day, but for what the first responders do every day,” said City Manager Lynn Markland, who delivered an emotional speech before the dedication.
Remembering the unity faith and common vision following the months of Sept. 11, 2001, Hadfield said, “We need to become a united country again.”