Westford’s 9/11 memorial symbolizes lives lost, a town’s unity

WESTFORD — In the center of town sits a peaceful reminder of a balmy September early morning, almost 20 yrs in the past.

On that early morning, the quiet of routine shattered when four jets, hijacked by terrorists, crashed, filling skies with smoke and hearth, claiming practically 3,000 life. 

A sculpture, in the general public basic safety courtyard, weaves jointly the memory of all those life — like these of two town citizens.

It can be a combine of media, which include granite, sea glass, and portion of a beam from the Earth Trade Center — 1 of the hijackers’ targets.

The sculpture also symbolizes that beginnings of Westford Remembers, produced by Town Manager Jodi Ross to honoring the memory of victims.

The volunteer team supported the development of other monuments commemorating chapters of the town’s historical past. It also can help residents in want.

Coming alongside one another

Firefighter and committee member David Christiana developed the 9/11 memorial and other monuments commissioned by Westford Remembers.

“It very much began as the Westford Remembers Committee that the town manager established,” reported Christiana. Fellow volunteer Nancy Cook chaired the committee.

Christiana explained, “There was a member of the Fire Department, and Police Division. The concept was to do the Westford Remembers 9/11 bench, which is on the typical.”

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Longtime group volunteer Patti Mason was capable to purchase part of a beam from World Trade Heart Tower II.

Mason learned that communities could utilize for a remnant of the Entire world Trade Centre towers. Cook and Mason wrote a letter to the New York Port Authority, the custodian of parts of steel from the web-site.

The request was authorised, and Mason went to Boson to decide on up the piece of metal beam — which was housed at the Cook residence for about 10 months.

The sculpture was completed, and a dedication ceremony held on Sept. 11, 2013.

A story in symbols

Collectively, the memorial signifies the crash web-sites of the Environment Trade Centre, the Pentagon, and a rural subject in Pennsylvania. 

Authorities now consider United Airlines Flight 93 struck the discipline when passengers overwhelmed hijackers, veering the jet absent from the White Household. 

The memorial represents general public security responders who died even though helping at the crash websites, or later on succumbed to associated accidents and diseases. 

It also signifies the 92 Massachusetts citizens who died — with two granite benches specifically devoted to city residents Susan MacKay, and James Hayden.

“I saw a picture of the beam. The beam, to me the way it was, practically looked like it was torn. It reminded me of an eternal flame,” Christiana said.

“The column was intended to symbolize power and unity, and then you have the beam on best of that, with the flames all around it,” Christiana reported. “They have been finished separately, to give it the glimpse of a single liberty flame, and eternal flame.”

A expanding mission

When the sculpture was finish, users sought a long lasting reason for the committee. “Nancy and I ended up conversing. Now that this is completed, what is likely to transpire to the committee?” Christiana claimed. 

“We talked about continuing it as Westford Remembers, to assist maintain some of the monuments we have in city.”‘

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Then, early in 2020, a new, invisible menace appeared on the horizon, and started getting its toll.

A mysterious virus dubbed COVID-19 started to wreak havoc on the country, and the entire world — which includes on local residents’ life, their wellbeing, and the financial state. 

“Previous March, when COVID strike, David stated we ought to support individuals,” Cook mentioned. The committee applied cash to support two family members who observed by themselves in monetary straits. 

The committee is web hosting a “Cowpalooza” match at Superior Pickin’ farm in Westford, to raise cash for a disabled boy in have to have of a van. 

‘The entire world changed’

This 12 months, on Sept. 11, a ceremony will acquire location at the memorial — reflecting on these awful events 20 many years in the past, and their enduring impact. 

“For me, that monument is a spot to mirror on how immediately items transform,” explained Cook. “The entire world as we understood it changed at that instant…my strongest memory is seeing that solid blue line strolling into the tower, and none of them came out.”

“They require to remember the unity that we had. For me, it is that absolutely everyone came alongside one another on Sept. 11,” Christiana stated. “Everybody served each individual other, and they did that for fairly a whilst immediately after Sept. 11…their legitimate selves arrived out.”

This year, on Sept. 11, Christiana said, “As people generate by, I hope they remember that we can do the job alongside one another…we will need to glance at each individual other as human beings. We’ve performed it before. We just require to make it lasting.”

Ceremony set

The town’s Sept. 11 memorial ceremony will take area Sept. 11 at the general public protection courtyard outside City Corridor, 55 Key St., Westford. 

The ceremony will start at 9:55 a.m. 

The ceremony will remember the terror assaults of Sept. 11, 2001, and honor the 2,977 confirmed lives dropped to the assaults.

Social distancing and confront coverings are advisable.

For additional information and facts get hold of Veterans Assistance Officer Ryan Cobleigh at rcobleigh@westfordma.gov or 978-392-1170.

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