Plans for 9/11 Remembrance Garden on Route 66 are unveiled

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Jul 292012

We have stopped by the older, smaller park in the past – so it will be very interesting to see what the final finished product of the new one….

The City of Winslow has begun the first phase of a 9/11 Remembrance Garden that will honor the victims and families of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The idea, spearheaded by the Winslow Rotary Club, grew from a memorial that has been in place for the past 10 years in the community and a desire to recognize that tragic day that changed the lives of all Americans.

The monument was originally situated at the corner of Transcon Lane and Route 66, and consists of an American flag along with two girders from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center that were shipped to the city in the year following 9/11. The girders are said to be the tallest remnants shipped to any town at 14’ and 15’ high, with an inscription at the base letting visitors know that terrorism will not be tolerated, and that the tragedy that took the lives of so many and brought forth great heroism will never be forgotten.

A road improvement project was planned that required the monument to be moved and it was recently relo-cated west on Route 66 to a grassy rest area where the Rotary Club hopes to create a garden that will be a truly significant memorial to the 9/11 tragedy; one that travelers can visit and pay homage to those who fought and continue to fight the War on Terror.

City Planner Paul Ferris and RSP Architects of Tempe set to work designing a plan based on the ideas of city council members, community members and others who wanted to contribute. Donations are being sought and a $1.5 million grant application was submitted to the Scenic Byways Program in January to fund the project, but no notification of an award has been received as of yet.

In an interview with Ferris, he explained the significance of the design created for the garden. The original monument will be centered on what Ferris called “Ground Zero,” surrounded by five walls representing the walls of the Pentagon. Inscribed on the inside of four of the walls will be the names of the victims and a story of the events that occurred that day.

Surrounding the exterior of the walls will be four consecutive rings of metal representing the four aircraft that were involved in the incident. From an aerial view, the sidewalks projecting from the center of the monu-ment represent the wings of an aircraft.

A short distance from that memorial will be a circular area representative of an kiva similar to those of a-cient Puebloan tribes for spiritual ceremonies. At the center will be two stainless steel sculptures up to 10-feet in height connecting earth and sky, and symbolizing contrails to the North Star, creating a large sundial. According to Ferris, the monument will be to honor those who sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of liberty on Flight 93, the plane passengers attempted to regain control of after it was taken over by terrorists.

As part of that monument, an American flag will be posted at the top of a shallow ramp, and surrounding that monument will be boot and shoe imprints in the cement, an idea of City Attorney Dale Patton and something Ferris refers to as a commonality between that event and those that continue on today: “Following the attacks there was a gray dust that settled over Ground Zero and South Manhattan. In a similar way the wars on terrorism fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the fight against Al Qaeda all occurred in areas of sand and dust. The shoe and boot imprints represent the common and symbolic union of those events.”

Whether the grant funds for the project will come to fruition is uncertain, but Ferris is confident of the pur-pose behind the garden and that funds raised through donations will continue the project, although perhaps not as quickly as hoped.

According to Ferris, “The garden symbolizes all the events that took place on 9/11, and the sacrifice and the pursuit of liberty for our country. It recognizes that although this took place in New York City, it happened to every one of us and we can never forget.”

By Linda Kor – AZ Journal