Monday September 12, 2011
Brooklawn Police Captain Steven Saymon, like many other first responders to the World Trade Center attack on 9-11-01, wanted to attend the tenth anniversary on Sunday 9-11-11. Unfortunately, he was never invited to the ceremony by the New York City Mayor's office, so he decided to pay tribute in his own way and closer to home. "As part of my emotional healing, I wanted to go back for the tenth anniversary," he said. "But after several attempts of contacting Mayor Bloomberg's office with no response, I figured I could take a hint. I'm not going to be invited. So I'm going to build my own." The result, the Brooklawn 9-11 Memorial and Monument of the Delaware Valley, was recently completed with the help of many volunteers and sponsors, including EP Henry.
After he got his project approved by the Borough of Brooklawn, he began contacting the individuals responsible for artifacts from the Sept. 11 attacks. His first attempt was successful, securing a steel beam from the World Trade Center, awarded from the Port Authority of New York. He also wanted to make sure the Pentagon and the United Airlines Flight 93 crash were not left out, so he started contacting federal employees from the Pentagon in Washington and the curator at the Flight 93 memorial museum in central Pennsylvania. Saymon received a limestone brick from the Pentagon - with chips and damage from where the plane hit - and soil and rocks from the Flight 93 crash area in near Shanksville, Pa.
Saymon then contacted various companies and agencies to assist in building the site, among them EP Henry. "We chose EP Henry because they are the premiere manufacturer of walls and pavers in America and we wanted the best." The EP Henry products are the most visible at the memorial, where Coventry Stone I pavers and Double-Sided Coventry Wall in Pewter Blend were used for the artifact area and Coventry Stone I Harvest Blend with Charcoal Diamond Border Accents make up the walkway leading up to the artifacts.
Bob Fiore, Jim Gillin, Uwe Klaus and Jermaine Pratt, from the EP Henry Quality Control Department, led a team of local volunteers, most of them veterans, in design and installation of the pentagon-shaped memorial. "I was really glad to be a part of the project," Fiore said. "From the vets and responders who volunteered, to the townspeople who showed up bringing refreshments, the dedication of these guys was just incredible." Gillin added that "it was the most meaningful project I've ever been involved in and was truly a humbling experience."
Thoughtfully planned by Captain Saymon, the walkway leading up to the main area is 9 feet 11 inches wide. The steel beam from the World Trade Center stands in the center, rising exactly 9 feet 11 inches high above ground. To the right on a Coveentry Wall column, is an encapsulated case containing soil and stone artifacts from the crash site of Flight 93 in Stonycreek Township, PA. To the left of center, also on a column, is a limestone block from the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C.
The site is a true educational experience and it's important to note that the site is not only a memorial to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice on that tragic day, but it is also a monument to acknowledge those who currently serve to protect the United States of America. "Every memorial site dedicated to the those who died on 9-11 is honorable and significant, but I've heard people describe this site as the biggest thing between New York and Washington. With the help of EP Henry, we turned this idea into a professional looking outdoor museum," he added. Best of all, the site is free and open to the public 24/7.
Saymon stated that people can go see the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the birthplace of freedom in this country, and then drive only 10 miles over the bridge to Brooklawn and see remnants that physically show the fight we go through and have gone through to keep our freedoms intact.