Late Monday afternoon, the finishing touches were put on a 9/11 memorial at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens that has been more than a year in the making.
Crews hoisted a 200 lb. rusty beam recovered from the wreckage of the World Trade Center and attached it to two granite pillars located in the memorial that represent the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
The WTC beam is the focal point of the courtyard memorial. The beam and twin towers are surrounded by granite monuments bearing the names of those killed in the attacks. Other granite markers honor victims on the downed planes.
The beam was brought to Palm Harbor through the efforts of Peg Alongi, a former teacher at Ozona Elementary School. Alongi wrote a letter to the New York Port Authority requesting a piece of wreckage from the World Trade Center.
Palm Harbor Fire Rescue Chief James Angle helped gather supporters for the memorial. It was constructed using donations from the community, including the location. Keenan Knopke, President of Curlew Hills Memory Gardens, made a space available for the memorial.
Both men watched as crews attached the last piece of the memorial, making their vision a reality at last.
"It's almost breathtaking. The beauty of it. The stunning silence that it has. The gravity that is there. It is breathtakingly eerie," said Knopke.
"Hopefully it means it's a place for families, children and older adults to come, reflect and remember 9/11," he added.
"It's a wonderful monument for our community to have forever," said Angle.
The September 11 Memorial Ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens which is located at 1750 Curlew Rd. (727) 789-2000.
To see the program for the ceremony, click on the "PDF" section of this article which is located alongside the photos.