Memorial To Remember

By Haley Burton

October 12, 2011 Updated Dec 5, 2013 at 3:28 AM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Remember and Hope. It was the inspiration behind a local permanent September 11 memorial.

The community came together Wednesday for the unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial.

It's outside of City Hall on the State Street side.

It's a memorial all that sacrificed their lives at the World Trade Center, those who are still suffering emotionally from the events of September 11 as well as those who gave their time and help in the recovery.

"A lot of people worked hard to put this together. We're all here to remember that day, remember what it means to our history and remember what it means to our future," said Matthew Ryan (D), Binghamton Mayor.

In 2002, Binghamton received the steel beam from the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Former Mayor Richard Bucci (R) worked to secure the beam.

Keystone Associates designed the permanent memorial.

"This memorial tells a story of that day to help those who come behind us to remember," said Ken Gay, Keystone Associates.

"If it wasn't for the donated time, talents and resources, businesses and firms that stepped up and donated their labors and materials, this wouldn't have been able to be accomplished. It all came together in the last 6 months. It all came together fast," said Marinich.

The beam is the center-piece of the memorial.

"During the days and weeks that followed, these pieces of steel took on a different meaning. They became a source of pride and strength. Those steel beams were made with American resources and made by American hands. Despite the devastation, many of these beams stood tall, reaching toward the sky in defiance," said Tracy Poplawski, 9/11 Memorial Committee.

"In the memorial you'll find 110 points that are inscribed on each of the towers on the side of the steel. The 110 are the 110 stories firefighters climbed in full gear to save the lives of others," said Gay.

In addition, the memorial has a time dial in the center. It represents the four moments in time when each of the attacks occurred.

"I think it's great for the community to finally to have somewhere to come and sit down. There's a bench where people can reflect on the memories of that day any time of the year," said Jerry Marinich, Broome County Legislature Chairman and 9/11 Memorial Committee Member.

"We all know where we were that morning, we all remember. There are a lot of people who won't remember. They got up for work that morning just like you and I, went to work and their lives were taken," said Thomas Libous (R), NYS 52nd Senate, "I ask of all of you, we don't remember just once a year, we remember every day."

The dedication was supposed to be held September 11, 2011 (the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks) but got pushed back because of the devastating floods in the area. Marinich says organizers thought this week was appropriate because it's Fire Prevention Week.

"If you were to look up courage in the dictionary, there would prominently be displayed the image of the firefighter," said John Darrow, Historian.

Darrow presented Binghamton Fire Chief Dan Thomas with a special 9/11 memorial flag to display in the fire station in remembrance of the firefighters who helped in the wake of September 11, 2001.