9/11 Memorial at Spring Park Breaks Ground
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- Nina Bodenhamer, Director, City Give, , email@example.com
A collaboration years in the making between Poudre Fire Authority (PFA), the City of Fort Collins, and community supporters, started to become a reality this week. The morning of Sept. 11th, local leaders and project contributors gathered for the groundbreaking of the 9/11 Memorial at Spring Park.
The memorial, designed to honor the sacrifices made by firefighters and other first responders, will include a 3,059-pound I-beam, which was pulled from the remains of the World Trade Center and gifted to PFA for their role in the response. Colorado remains closely connected to the attack. Colorado Task Force 1- Urban Search and Rescue, a federal disaster response team, deployed 64 Coloradoans, including nine firefighters from PFA, to New York City to assist with urban search and recovery.
“I want to thank everyone who has played a part in the forward movement of this important project,” said PFA Fire Chief Derek Bergsten. “Through donations, advocacy, and partnership, a piece of our nation’s history will have a final resting place in Northern Colorado where residents, families, and visitors can pay their respects to the sacrifice and selflessness demonstrated by so many on 9/11.”
The City of Fort Collins City Council, the PFA Board of Directors, and several members of PFA – including one that was deployed to help with the recovery and clean-up in the aftermath of the attacks – ceremoniously shoveled the first dirt to be moved on the site.
“We will never forget the impact that the 9/11 tragedy had on us all,” said City Manager Kelly DiMartino. “This memorial will be a special place of remembrance of those who lost their lives, a place of gratitude for the freedoms that we have, and a place of personal reflection.”
The memorial will be an open-air installation located just behind PFA Fire Station 3, near Spring Park in Midtown Fort Collins featuring informational panels, imagery, and the steel I-beam.
“This project would not be happening today without the partnership and participation of so many within our community,” said DiMartino. “I am incredibly grateful to the businesses who have stepped up, our City Council and PFA Board, and all the others who have played an integral part in bringing this memorial to fruition. What a beautiful way to honor the sacrifice of so many, and the strength and resiliency of our community and our nation,” said DiMartino.
While this was a small ceremony for some of those closely involved, the ribbon cutting will be a large event to welcome the entire community and beyond to the memorial. It is planned for Sept. 11, 2024.
Donations are still being accepted to support the construction of the 9/11 Memorial at Spring Park. Learn more about the project, share personal memories, view digital renderings, and donate at www.911memorialfortcollins.org.