Tiffin breaks ground for new memorial

TIFFIN, OH (Toledo News Now) - Memorial Day in Tiffin took on another special meaning this year as the community broke ground on something new to honor heroes in their hometown and from New York City.

Nearly a year ago, Tiffin Police and Fire welcomed a piece of the World Trade Center with big plans to make it into a memorial honoring people who lost their lives helping during the attacks on Sept. 11. On Monday morning, the community got closer to seeing those plans become reality.

On a flatbed trailer at the corner of Washington and Water streets sat a steel beam from the World Trade Center measuring 17.5 feet and weighing more than 6,200 pounds.

"There's only about 1,200 pieces of steel that have been dispersed across the nation and we're lucky enough to have one of them," said Chris Hafley with Tiffin Fire and Rescue.

What the departments came up with was the Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial, which will sit on more than 16,000 square feet of land.

"I tried to incorporate symbolism from all the events of that day, not just the World Trade Center itself. The Pentagon getting hit. The pillar for Flight 93," explained Michael Work, memorial designer.

It will also have elements to honor fire and police personnel in the Tiffin community who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Organizers and veterans said they hope the piece of steel helps to strengthen the memory and build upon the respect the community has for those who gave it all.

"This stark, yet beautiful, memorial will serve many generations as a place to quietly remember the patriots, the heroes of that day we will never forget," said Tiffin Fire Captain John Nutter.

Veteran Phil Neikirk said the day meant a little more this time.

"I think it's a healing process for everybody. It's not over yet. 9/11 will never be forgotten...ever," said Neikirk.

The flag pole will be strategically placed so that every Sept. 11, the flag will cast a shadow across the World Trade Center resting on the granite Pentagon.

"I hope it connects with people on different levels. Whether it's a child who wasn't born yet, who's just learning about this event, or someone who lost somebody," said Work.

The memorial is expected to be completed Sept. 11 of this year.

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