9/11 memorial built by FVTC students dedicated

August 28, 2012

From fox11online.com: “Greenville dedicates 9/11 memorial” — Lt. Joe Torrillo knows these dirty, bent beams all too well.

“I come here today and I see those beams and it reminds me of all of my friends, the other 343 firemen who made the supreme sacrifice you know and marched into heaven all together and left me behind,” he said, in his thick New York accent.

The retired New York City firefighter survived the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11th.

He was rescued from the rubble days later.

Saturday, he came to Greenville, a town in Outagamie County, with other survivors to share his story and dedicate the town’s new 9-11 memorial.

“I’m glad everyone was able to get together today. I think some people started some healing,” said Town of Greenville Chairman Randy Leiker.

People in Greenville say they wanted to showcase a real reminder of 9/11 in their memorial. Firefighters applied for the beams to be donated through a group in New York City that has memorial pieces from the World Trade Center wreckage. The beams arrived last year.

“When these beams showed up, with the stains on them from the fire, plate steel torn apart like aluminum foil, they became reality,” said landscape architect James Beard.

Beard designed the memorial around the two beams. With help of his Fox Valley Technical College students and plenty of volunteers, the memorial was completed in the past three months.

The memorial sits adjacent to the Greenville Veterans Memorial in front of the town’s municipal complex. A path of memorial bricks, bearing the names of local soldiers, pivots sharply towards the east. It heads in the actual direction of Ground Zero in New York City. The path ends at a stone pentagon. The designers of this memorial wanted to incorporate images of all three sites of the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

“The pond itself is symbolic it’s commemorating the hole in Pennsylvania made by Flight 93 crashing,” explained Beard. “The water in the waterfall connects in an audible and visual way to the waterfall at the memorial in New York City.”

“I think it’s unimaginable what it means to them if it means this much to me,” said Leiker, who became emotional at several points during the dedication ceremony.

Torrillo says the way Greenville came together to make this memorial happen can inspire people across the nation.

“I’m begging the people of the United States of America: don’t give up on our country,” he pleaded.

He says these words written on the memorial—Never Forgotten—Continue to ring true in this small town.

The Greenville 9/11 Memorial is estimated to cost $10 to 15 thousand. Community donations funded the project.

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