World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial
The World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon.
The World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial is within a memorial garden, located behind the Manheim Township Public Library on the Overlook Community Campus. The memorial area is accessible via a pathway nestled in a wild flower meadow. (View the Location Map (PDF) and Memorial Area Map (PDF)).
The 9/11 Memorial focuses on three themes of the 9/11 tragedy, with specific features of the memorial comprising these themes:
The Twin Towers were the centerpieces of the World Trade Center complex located in Manhattan, New York City. At 110 stories each, 1 WTC (North Tower) and 2 WTC (South Tower) provided nearly 10-million-square feet of office space for about 35,000 people. They were the tallest buildings in New York City, and for a brief period upon their completion, they were the tallest buildings in the world.[i]
At 8:46 on that Tuesday morning, hijacked American Flight 11 was deliberately crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. At 9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center. All on board both flights, along with an unknown number of people in the towers, were killed instantly. The Twin Towers ultimately collapsed because of the damage sustained from the impacts and the resulting fires. Nearly 2,800 civilians and first responders lost their lives during the attacks.[ii]
Remnant pieces of steel from the World Trade Center were collected and stored in an aircraft hangar at New York's JFK International Airport. These artifacts were made available by the New York and New Jersey Port Authorities to select public entities for the purpose of paying tribute to the civilians and first responders who lost their lives during the attacks.
Manheim Township went through the application process in early 2010 to receive one of the steel artifacts for our own memorial. Thanks in part to cooperation with the New York Port Authority, assistance from former Congressman Joe Pitts' office, High Industries, High Steel, and High Transit, on June 21, 2011, the Township's artifact was delivered to the memorial site, located behind the Library on the Overlook Community Campus. Manheim Township's steel beam from the World Trade Center is approximately 15 feet long and weighs nearly three tons.
The steel beam was positioned to point towards New York City. Directly in front of the beam is a natural occurring stone-lined basin representing the deep basement of the Twin Towers’ foundations known as the “bathtub”.[iii] The basin is also suggestive of the reflecting pools which sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood and are part of the 9/11 Memorial located in NYC.
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon.[iv] The building has five sides and five floors above ground and five ring corridors per floor with a total of 17.5 miles of corridors.[v]
At 9:37 on that Tuesday morning, hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the west side of the Pentagon killing 184, all on board the flight, as well as many civilian and military personnel in the building. [vi]
The Pentagon memorial is comprised of an American flag, a memorial plaque, as well as plaques representing the five branches of the military. Behind and slightly to the right of the military branch plaques and nestled under a Prairie Fire Crabapple are five metal sculptures of coyotes. The coyotes represent the five military branches standing guard on the high ground overlooking the memorial. Next to the memorial plaque rock is a small stone pointing towards the Pentagon.
Flight 93 The actions of the passengers and crew aboard the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 prevented an attack on the U.S. Capital. Instead of reaching their intended target, Flight 93 crashed in a field near Shanksville, Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Through phone calls passengers aboard the flight learned of the attacks which had occurred earlier that morning on the World Trade Center. Passengers and surviving crew members decided to take action by rushing the terrorists in an attempt to retake the plane.[vii] At 9:55 a.m. on September 11th, passenger Todd Beamer is credited with stating “Let’s roll.” as they began their assault.
A memorial plaque and stone structure are placed within a stone “creek” representing the Stoney Creek River, a resurrected river. Considered dead from abandoned mine drainage, this river now supports life through its 46-mile length and is popular among paddlers and fly fishers.[viii]The native brook trout metal sculptures point towards the Flight 93 Memorial.
Slightly to the back left of the stone structure is a plaque with the words “Let’s roll.” At 9:55 a.m. on September 11th, a shadow cast by the memorial plaque and stone structure will fall across this plaque symbolizing the actions and loss of the remaining passengers and crew members.
When completed, the memorial garden will contain 40 Prairie Fire Crabapple trees symbolizing the number of passengers and crew members on board Flight 93. Beside each tree will hang a cast bronze bell, each unique in its size and tone. The bells represent the voices of all those lost in the attacks on September 11th.
Take note of the stones lining the pathway. You will see a pattern of nine stones turned up and eleven stones turned down throughout the pathway. There are eleven flags placed around the three memorials.
How to Contribute and Get Involved in the Project
The Township's 9/11 Memorial project is very unique and special and there are many ways to get involved. Since the start of the effort, the Township has been working together with private citizens and businesses to raise funds and in-kind services to realize the final memorial improvements. The work and features completed thus far were done through in-kind donations and donated services.
But there is still more work to be done to bring this project to completion. One key missing component is a plaque honoring those first responders who answered the call on September 11, 2001. Opportunities also exist to help support the walking path, benches and meadow planting (Path and Meadow Illustration (PDF)), lighting, memorial plaque viewing deck and trellis canopy for the Twin Towers memorial (Twin Towers Projects (PDF)), flag pole lighting and memorial plaque for the Pentagon memorial (Pentagon Projects (PDF)), and the bells, trees and plaque for the Flight 93 memorial (Flight 93 Projects (PDF)).
If you would like to get involved by making a monetary donation, giving your time, lending your expertise, or donating your company's products or services, please email Susan Schaeffer or call 717/569-6408, extension 1108.
Gratitude is extended to those who have already given so much:
- High Industries
- High Steel
- High Transit
- McCarty and Son
- Rubin Steel
- Troop 84 - St. Peter's Lutheran Church
- Thomas Forsberg
- Horst Group
- CS Davidson
- John and Allison Mingle
- Knights of Columbus
- Neffsville Community Fire Company
- John and Carol Byers
- Linda Alexander
- Edward and Palma Rudzinski
- Doreen Kreiner
- Thomas, Stephanie, Ashley, and Joseph Rudzinski
- Patrick Egan
- Randy Wirth
- Keares Electrical Contracting
- Associated Building Inspections, Inc. - Randy Maurer
- Richard Scott
- Manheim Township Community Life Task Force
- Township staff
[ii] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Kean, T.H., & Hamilton, L. (2004). The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. [Washington, D.C.], National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. p. 7 – 8
[vi] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Kean, T.H., & Hamilton, L. (2004). The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. [Washington, D.C.], National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. p. 10.
[vii] Ibid. p. 13.