Just a little more than a year after an approximately 6,000-pound steel beam from the World Trade Center arrived in Tiffin, it's part of the Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial.
The memorial, located at the former Firestone property on North Washington Street, was dedicated Sunday.
Chris Hafley, chairman of the Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial Committee, spoke at the dedication, recalling the process of obtaining the beam and transporting it from New York City to Tiffin.
PHOTO BY ROB LEDWEDGE
A bald eagle flies over the memorial during the singing of “Amazing Grace” Sunday.
Hafley said Tiffin firefighters who brought the beam to Tiffin met several people along the way, including a couple who lost their son, a firefighter, on Sept. 11, 2001.
"Returning to Tiffin with the beam was memorable," Hafley said.
Hafley had gone to Tiffin Fire Chief William Ennis with the idea of bringing a steel beam to Tiffin, and additional ideas to create a memorial site generated a committee made up of Tiffin police and firefighters, as well as community members.
To create a memorial that featured the beam and paid homage to those who were killed or otherwise affected by the terror attacks Sept. 11, 2001, the committee worked closely with the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation and Mike Work, an architect from Cleveland.
The memorial site, now complete and open to the public, features the beam on a black granite wall in the shape of a pentagon engraved with the inscription "Never forget."
The names of two fallen Tiffin police officers, Patrick Sweeney and August Schultz, also are engraved on the granite. Sweeney was killed in 1908 and Schultz was killed in 1895, both in the line of duty. Their families were presented with American flags Sunday.
A mound of dirt representing Flight 93 that crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pa., Sept. 11, 2001, also is part of the site and three flag poles that include the American flag, the National Fallen Firefighters flag and the National Fallen Police Officers flag, face the east.
A red maple tree, representative of the one red maple tree that lived through the Sept. 11 twin tower collapses, is planted nearby.
Several people spoke Sunday during the ceremony, which included music by members of the Tiffin University Choir and by The Pipes & Drums of the Cleveland Police.
"One of the things that bring us together is shared memories," Seneca County Commissioner Jeff Wagner said. "Our goal with the monument today is to pass that memory along."
State Representative Rex Damschroder, also spoke.
"It doesn't take a whole lot to recognize the importance of what's happening ... this is quite a monument," he said.
Contractors and companies who worked at the memorial site during the past year were recognized Sunday, including The Seneca County Homebuilder's Association. The organization, led by Tom Daniel, assisted in construction.
"What impresses me the most this monument came together in less than a year," Ennis said during his speech Sunday.
"The All Patriots Memorial is just that. It is not only a memorial to the men and women who bravely gave their lives on Sept. 11 but a memorial to the attitude that was born that day, a deep sense of patriotism," Hafley said at the closing of the ceremony.