Dedication Will Coincide With 20th Anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 Attacks
SWANSEA — Fire Chief Eric Hajder would like to invite the community and members of the media to a dedication ceremony for the Town of Swansea’s new Sept. 11 memorial this weekend.
The ceremony will also serve as an opportunity to mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The memorial is centered around two 11-foot lengths of steel rail recovered from the World Trade Center site following the attacks, and also honors the lives lost at both the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
“It’s hard to believe that 20 years has passed since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, but it is important that we never forget the events of that day,” Chief Hajder said. “That is why it is so important to honor the lives lost that day with a permanent memorial that residents are able to see each and every day. We thank the members of our 9/11 Memorial Committee, in particular former Fire Chief Peter Burke, who put in countless hours to design this memorial and make it a reality.”
The dedication ceremony will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11 beginning at 1 p.m.
Swansea Fire Station #1, 137 Main St.
Those wishing to attend are asked to park in the rear lot of the Joseph Case Junior High School, 195 Main St.
Local town and state officials will be on hand, as will first responders from the Town of Swansea.
The Town of Swansea and the Swansea Fire Department will be unveiling and dedicating its new Sept. 11 memorial.
In early 2015, then-Swansea Fire Chief Peter Burke began the process of securing a section of steel from the World Trade Center site in hopes of constructing a permanent memorial in town. In May of 2016, a group of Swansea firefighters traveled to New Jersey to receive multiple lengths of steel recovered from the WTC site and return it to Swansea.
Shortly thereafter, a 9/11 Memorial Committee, consisting of active and retired Swansea Fire members, began informal meetings to explore potential sites and the design of a suitable memorial. The steel was secured at the Swansea DPW and displayed annually at the town’s Public Safety Day.
After exploring a number of locations, the committee agreed on Station #1 to house the permanent memorial. The committee met periodically to discuss design ideas in hopes of beginning construction in 2020. Progress on the design, stalled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, began again in earnest in the spring of 2020 with construction commencing in early summer.
What was initially a simple design quickly grew in size and scope resulting in a memorial that will be a fitting tribute to the four separate attacks that took place on Sept 11, 2001:
World Trade Center: The design centers around two 11-foot lengths of steel rail donated to the Town by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. The rails, which had run beneath the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, were recovered from Ground Zero and made available to numerous public safety entities for display in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks.
Pentagon: The rails stand inside a raised limestone pentagon shape. This honors the lives lost at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
Pennsylvania: The memorial is centered on a base of Pennsylvania bluestone pavers. This honors the lives lost in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
A flag pole along with two bronze plaques describing the events of Sept. 11, 2001 will complete the memorial site. One of the plaques reads, in part:
“This memorial is dedicated to the 2,977 Men, Women, Children, members of the Military and First Responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and to the brave men and women who continue to serve today. ‘We Will Never Forget.’”
The design was created by the members of the 9/11 Memorial Committee, including Joshua Coroa, a professional landscape architect who is also a former fire department member.