VENICE – In 2001, America was attacked by a small group of terrorists -- some of whom lived among us in places like Venice and Nokomis. 11 years later, a piece of one the towers they took down is being used to help us never to forget.
Tuesday, hundreds marked the occasion at Patriots Park in Venice, where they paid tribute to those who died in the war on terrorism. Many came to see the beam which once held up the World Trade Center, which now bears the names of those who died, etched in stone around it.
Venice residents Tom and Lori Murphy were remembering their son Patrick Tuesday. “He got to work early that morning."
Patrick was in Tower One of the World Trade Center when the first plane hit it. "We think about him every day. Everyone goes on as much as we can, but we never forget. We are still angry when we think about how it happened."
Remembering there will now be easier for even new generations, with a 14-foot high I-beam from the same building Patrick perished in.
"It's a tremendous tribute of what the American spirit is all about," says Gene Sweeney of Salt of the Earth, U.S.A.
The memorial is placed in a city where some of the terrorists lived for a short time, ate in restaurants, used the library to communicate, and even learned to fly. "Venice was in the forefront at the time. Not by any fault of our own. This memorial symbolizes a lot but it is also healing."
The beam is surrounded by marble in a pentagon shape. It includes engravings of those who died that Tuesday, and also military members who gave all fighting the war on terrorism since.
And it really was a community effort to get this done. All the money was raised through organizations like Salt of the Earth, U.S.A., the Community Foundation, and local people who did much of the work at cost and volunteered their time and resources.
The project didn't cost taxpayers a single dime.