Northwest Ohio 9/11 Memorial completes first phase of construction
By Staff Sgt. John Wilkes, 180th Fighter Wing
/ Published September 15, 2016
SWANTON, Ohio -- "Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts," said President George W. Bush following the attacks on 9/11. "The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror."
The Northwest Ohio 9/11 Memorial, located at the 180th Fighter Wing in Swanton, Ohio, was unveiled following the completion of construction phase 1 on Sept. 11, 2016. Airmen with the 180FW, service members and civilians across the country marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11, when nearly 3,000 innocent lives were lost during the attacks.
"This memorial represents a day in American history that every American remembers to the minute of what they were doing at that time," said Col. Kevin Doyle, commander of the 180FW. "That day changed American lives forever."
During the ceremony, the Springfield High School Marching Band played the national anthem and the flag was lowered to half-staff for the first time at the new memorial in honor or those who lost their lives.
The memorial consists of beams from the World Trade Center, limestone from the Pentagon and soil from the Pennsylvania field where Flight 93 crashed. Nearly 3,000 glass ingots, one for each life lost, will be incorporated into the display as well. The memorial is encompassed by a clock face with podiums which mark the time of each significant event.
Every year at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, the flag pole will cast a shadow through the steel beams of the World Trade Center, marking the time of the first plane's impact.
The memorial will be open to the public following a dedication ceremony when construction is complete in 2017.
"This memorial honors those American lives lost that day on which American freedom came under attack," said Doyle. "[It also honors] the lives that have been lost since [9/11] in the fight against terror."
"The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge -- huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger," said Bush. "These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation."