THE 911 MEMORIAL AT EMU BY PWP CONTRIBUTOR BOB RESCH
It's still an amazing sight to behold at Pease Park on the campus of
Eastern Michigan University. It's a powerful piece of history
representing one of the worst moments in American history. Here lies
the rusted 6,800 hundred pound, 14 foot steel beam from the World
Trade Center's 74th floor of the South Tower.
On this, the 15th year anniversary, the steel beam reflected the crisp
morning sun under a cloudless blue sky. Almost exactly the kind of
day the city of New York was experiencing on the morning of 9/11/01.
And here we are. 15 years later. My, how time flies! And yet, the
pain and anguish from that experience is still fresh in the hearts and
minds of all Americans. Most of the 2,996 people killed were
civilians, except 19 of the perpetrators, 71 law enforcement officers
and 343 firefighters.
As attendees arrived for the ceremony, they were handed red and white
carnations. On one side of the steel beam, standing at attention,
stood The Ypsilanti Fire department, along with the Eastern Michigan
and Ypsilanti Police departments. The EMU Army ROTC provided the
The ceremony started at 8:40am with a welcome greeting followed by
Mika Green singing the National Anthem. At 8:46am, the very moment
the terrorists flew the first plane into the Trade Center tower, came
the call for A Moment of Silence. This was followed by a moving
version of Taps performed by two EMU trumpeters. They stood about 75
feet apart and performed a rendition that included a call and response
in melodic harmony. Heartwarming and Heartbreaking.
Chaplain Schindel then delivered a message of encouraging words that
spoke of how Americans came together during and after the turmoil to
make America stronger than ever. It was during this speech that a
commercial jet flew over. It was low enough that I looked up to see
where it was going. It was eerie. The timing was uncanny. It's
probably the same thing many New Yorkers did 15 years ago.....and may
still do today!
Pastor Sarah Jackson then delivered a prayer and Mika Green sang God
Bless America. The ceremony came to a close when the attendees were
able to pay respects by placing their carnations on the beam.
9/11 will always be a day the world will never forget.