HERMANSVILLE — The 15th anniversary of a day that changed the world is just around the corner. Some southern U.P. residents are working continually to make sure that the events of September 11th, 2001, are never forgotten.
“Never forget.” It’s a phrase etched into the memories of many who are old enough to remember 9/11. To those born after that day, 9/11 is something read about in history books — something witnessed through the lens of historic documentary.
“These two pieces of steel are actual history,” said Bud Marsh, Project Coordinator for the Twin Towers Memorial Project in Hermansville.
Around ten years ago, Bud Marsh — at the time a volunteer for the Hermansville Rescue Squad — read about the New York Port Authority offering steel from the buildings that collapsed in New York City on 9/11. After Marsh completed what he calls “many piles of red tape,” the two pieces of steel were on their way to the small town of Hermansville.
The township donated a plot of land near both US–2 and the North Central Elementary School for use as the artifacts’ resting place.
“We want these kids not only to read about 9/11, but to be able to come down here and to be able to touch pieces of history,” added Marsh. “Maybe that will sink into them a little bit better about what happened on 9/11, and what’s happened since then — the domino effect since then. It’s been fifteen years — going on — since 9/11, and we are still at war.”
So far, the site consists of a memorial headstone and a flag pole. Eventually, a Pentagon–shaped building will be constructed to protect the steel, which is currently only brought out to the site on special occasions.
Marsh said, “The ultimate goal here is to be able to put up a building that we can secure without having to worry about any type of vandalism or weather or anything like that ruining the artifacts.”
A log book is available for visitors to sign, and despite the memorial being unfinished, Marsh said feedback has been positive.
“Even though they can’t see the actual pieces of steel, they leave a note saying they are very grateful for what we are doing,” said Marsh.
RFW Concrete and Construction will be pouring a base for the memorial for free — covering a nearly $3,000 portion of the project’s estimated $43,000 total cost — with hopes of having that piece complete by the fifteenth anniversary. The remaining money is being raised through tireless fundraising and donations from the community.
If you’re looking to help with the cause, donations can be made at Wells Fargo. Hats, t-shirts, and other memorabilia are also available to help raise funds. You can e-mail Bud Marsh at firstname.lastname@example.org for an order form. Click here to read more about the project.
In the meantime, you can come to Hermansville and pay respects to a day that should never be forgotten.
“If you can’t get to New York, come to see this one,” Marsh said. “We want you to come and visit and remember.”