"We Shall Never Forget" - Pennsauken, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 57.342 W 075° 03.479
18S E 495047 N 4422841
A stirring memorial pays homage to the victims of the terror attacks on 9-11. An area along Rt. 130 was set aside and dedicated on Sept. 11, 2003. The memorial consists of paths of donated pavers, a sculpture & a beam from one of the tower.
Waymark Code: WMCJ9D
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 09/11/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 11

On a triangular lot, along the intersection of Route 130 and Merchantville Avenue, a 9-11 memorial was planned and beginning to take form by March of 2003. The memorial was to be (and is) centered around a sculpture by Brian P. Hanlon. The sculpture and monument took about 6 months from planning to installation.

The five bronze sculptures are amazing and reminiscent of the scenes we all saw on television on that horrible day. The bronze monument shows five, life-sized figures of a firefighter, police officer, businessman, emergency medical technician and a police dog. It depicts a scene from that day when terrorists hijacked two airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center towers in New York, killing almost 3,000 people.

The scene shows a black businessman in a suit sitting on a curb with his head down. In one hand is a cell phone, the other is lifeless, and, "he is completely overwhelmed with emotion," Hanlon said. Hanlon modeled the businessman after his brother, Andrew, who escaped from Tower One.

On one side is a female EMT, standing, with her hand on his shoulder. The other side is a police officer, seated a level above the businessman. Next to the police officer is a German shepherd police dog, standing on the curb. Behind the police officer is a firefighter, tipping his helmet.

The sculptures sit up an a large five-sided base, kind of like a star. The base of the monument is five-sided, representing the shape of the Pentagon, with the words, "Courage, Hope, Bravery, Compassion and Peace," inscribed on each of the corners. The sculpture sits in a 5 sided 'circle', made of a 12-inch by 6-inch granite or paving blocks that the township sold to help defray the cost of the monument.

There is a backdrop of a 30-foot, black granite wall, rising 8 feet into the air, erected behind the monument and engraved with the words, "We shall never forget". The black-polished granite wall represents the Twin Towers. Engraved on it are the times each airplane hit the New York towers, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the plane that crashed in the Shankesville, Pa field. The sidewalks in front, lined with donated, granite pavers, are lit by lights and are sided with landscaping. Grass is everywhere else. Inside the monument, the earth, flowers and field represent the field in Shankesville, Pa. where the plane crashed. Granite pavers represent the thoughts and prayers of many Americans.

In the grass are flags, with names attached to them, one for every victim of 9-11. When visiting this is the first thing you see, an entire field of flags. It's something to see. I read the citizens of this town come out and place these flags on the anniversary of 9-11. Today's display of flags will remain in place all day and will be removed at midnight by many of the same residents who placed the flags there, about an hour from now.

Off to the right is a steel girder protruding out of the ground like a skeletal finger. I found that to be rather eerie.

Hanlon commented on the memorial. “This sculpture focuses on the survivors and celebrates the services these people provide in every community,” explains the sculptor. “It took a horrific event to make us recognize the outstanding work these public servants provide quietly every day in every community.” He prefers to call his sculpture “a tribute” rather than a memorial.

Off to the side is another area which serves as a dedication monument, two small rectangular-shaped prisms, black, offer the names of the donors, the name of the memorial and the dedication date. These dedication pillars, like everything else is lit at night by spot lights. When I visited, the lights were already turned on at 7 PM.

Today is September 11, 2011. Today marks the 10th anniversary of the 9-11. Today @ 1PM (about 6 hour ago), the annual Remembrance Ceremony took place, where the aforementioned 2,997 American flags, one for each victim, were placed in the ground around the "We Shall Never Forget" Monument.

I had no idea I was going to be here. I simply drove by and felt compelled to park and get out and just look. I do not recall being in the presence of so many people and not hearing a sound. It was very quiet. People were reserved, sad and somber. We all walked around the area, at times, kneeling down to read some of the names attached to the low lying flags stuck in the lawn. I walked over to the beams on display and rested my hand on it, my first and only physical connection to the Towers and events of that day in 2001. It was quite an experience being here. I can only imagine what the folks in Manhattan today felt, especially the families of the victims. Hopefully, my generation has experiences our last 'Pearl Harbor'.

Date of Dedication: 09/11/2003

Name of organization that built the memorial: Pennsauken Township and its Citizens

Private or Public Monument?: Government

Text on the memorial:
Please see long description

Physical address of memorial:
Corner of Route 130 and Merchantville Avenue
Pennsauken, NJ USA

Website for more information: [Web Link]

Additional coordinates: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
A picture of yourself (or your GPS if you are alone and cannot get someone to take your picture) at the memorial. Logs without pictures should be deleted by the waymark owner.
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