On the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks on the United States, it’s good to remember a 9/11 memorial garden in Winslow, Arizona, that includes two large beams from the destroyed Twin Towers of New York City.
According to a feature by KPNX-TV in Phoenix, retired Winslow Councilwoman Dee Rodriguez was tasked with creating the 9/11 Remembrance Garden with a budget of just $300 less than a year after the attacks.
“I just knew we needed something more than just a couple of little trees,” she said.
Dee learned wreckage from the Twin Towers was available in New York for those willing to retrieve it. She coordinated a trucking company to pick up two steel beams standing more than a dozen feet tall.
Volunteers appeared like angels.
“One day we sat in a restaurant and a man walked up to us and said ‘What are you going to do with the beams?’ and we told him we have no idea. And he said, ‘I’m a contractor. I live in Winslow, and I’ll put them up for you,’” Rodriguez said.
Grade school students, ROTC students and local businesses volunteered their time to construct the site.
“I’ve never seen Winslow come together in that way,” Rodriguez said.
Two decades later, people still leave notes and tokens in the holes of the now-rusting beams.
Rodriguez isn’t done with the garden. Describing it as a work in progress, she said she wants to add benches to the site.
The full video from the TV station:
According to Roadside America, one beam is 14 feet tall, and the other is 15 feet. A plaque at the site reads:
“These two steel beams from the World Trade Center, entrusted to the citizens of Winslow by the City of New York, along with this flag that was flown at the Pentagon, stand as the centerpiece of our Remembrance Garden. The words ‘United We Stand’ remind the world that we will not fear terrorism. We hereby dedicate this Garden to Northern Arizona’s promise that ‘WE WILL NEVER FORGET'”
The garden officially was dedicated on Sept. 11, 2002. The local chamber of commerce claims the beams are the largest debris pieces provided to any town in America.
Winslow’s 9/11 garden is between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Route 66, just east of Cassandra Road (map here).
On a related note, the director of the Milburn-Price Culture Museum in Vega, Texas, recently created a 12-foot-tall replica of the Twin Towers as a tribute to the 9/11 attacks.
The coordinated 9/11 suicide attacks on Washington and New York City using hijacked commercial airliners killed nearly 3,000 people and injured about 25,000 — including some people who still are suffering long-term health effects — and caused an estimated $10 billion in property damage.
(Image from the 9/11 Remembrance Park in Winslow, Arizona, by Alan Levine via Flickr)