Wallenpaupack Lake Estates marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by dedicating a stunning memorial honoring the victims and survivors of this terrible tragedy.
Each of the design components was carefully planned to acknowledge the plane crashes in New York City, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Key features include a pentagon-shaped reflection area, a stone pathway anchored by a keystone, and a steel I-beam from the World Trade Center forged to resemble the Twin Towers.
Following a moving ceremony, the monument was unveiled by Dolores Russo, who lost her son, a New York City Firefighter, at the World Trade Center.
Retired New York City Police Detective, and Wallenpaupack Lake Estates resident, Mick Henry presented Senator Baker with a special memento also made from a fragment of steel I-beam from the World Trade Center.
Senator Baker offered the following remarks as part of the service:
Many communities are holding memorial events on this 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These are emotional and heartfelt events, made more special in our area by the inspiring presence of individuals directly affected on that day of tragedy.
On this day, there are many worth remembering. Those who died on the four hijacked aircraft, and those killed on the ground as a result of the deliberate crashes. Those who survived, but lost family, friends, co-workers. Those who courageously responded in the face of extreme peril. Those who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, conflicts resulting from the terrorist attacks.
“Never forget” is a powerful phrase. We do have a solemn obligation to recall everything about 9/11 – the hatred behind the attacks, the quality and character of the nearly 3,000 who died that day, the courage of those who responded to an unimaginable emergency that turned catastrophic, the heartbreak of families and communities who never had a chance to say goodbye to precious loved ones, the sad circumstance of young children suddenly deprived of a parent.
But even there, our sense of purpose should not end. We should never stop distilling lessons from the tragedy. Nor should we fall short in applying those lessons toward building a safer nation, a stronger democracy, and a better society.
Our nation has gotten away from the incredible unity of purpose that bound us in the weeks and months after 9/11. May we find in ourselves, may we find in those who lead us, the capacity to come together to strengthen America.
Whatever we say or do to remember the victims of 9/11, the ultimate solace comes in the knowledge that their souls are safe in the keeping of a merciful God.
Contact: Jennifer Wilson