September 11th Memorial Unveiled in Gibsonburg
by Zach Isaacson
On the day of April 2nd, 2016, I was given the opportunity to view an object that would forever change my outlook on September 11th. This particular object traveled 1,200 miles from New York on the trailer of a semi-truck to a warehouse North-East of a village called Gibsonburg. I remember walking into the warehouse and seeing a bent up steel rod that was about the length of the wall propped up on two pieces of wood. For solid steel, it was obvious a lot of force was exempted on it for it to have multiple bent up areas.
But, it isn’t just an ordinary steel rod. It’s a piece of history and a part of the timeline of terrorism and the events that took place on that fateful day. That steel rod is a 7,000 pound solid-steel portion of the antenna that was on top of the North World Trade Center Tower, and it was right here in Ohio.
There were big plans made for it too. A long-time family friend and close acquaintance of my now deceased grandfather, master sculptor Jim Havens had planned to incorporate the artifact into a memorial. The memorial was not only made to remember the events of September 11th, but for those who serve in public service, such as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel. You may be asking “how was the antenna going to be included?” Well, the memorial itself was designed to look like the Pentagon, with risen concrete walls all around. Inside the memorial holds three different bronze plaques with the words “Tradition, Honor, Respect”. Adjacent to the plaques, the story of September 11th in full, told in newspaper headlines. Towering above the entire structure stands a stainless-steel replica of the New World Trade Center building. Resting on the replica itself is the hulking 7-ton antenna that was hoisted onto it. This in total results in an eye-opening reminder of the fate that occurred that day.
The unveiling and remembrance ceremony was on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, which was last Sunday. Matt Long, a former New York Fireman and 9/11 First Responder, spoke inspirationally at the ceremony about how he became a New York Firefighter and the time he spent as a Firefighter leading up to September 11th. “It wasn’t just an attack on New York, D.C., or Pennsylvania. It was an attack on America.” says Long while speaking at the event.
Finally, the event was ended with the cutting of a ribbon, officially opening the memorial for anyone’s viewing. The significance in this memorial lies in the fact that all partakers in the event love their country, and made this memorial possible so that future generations can remember the tragedy that struck that day. Today, you can see the memorial for yourself, at Williams Park in Gibsonburg, Ohio.