Pennsauken residents remember 9/11 victims

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. - September 11, 2010

Beginning at 11:30 p.m. Friday, 2,997 American flags were placed around the "We Shall Never Forget" monument at the corner of Route 130 and Merchantville Avenue.

This is the third year Pennsauken residents have come out to take part in this remembrance.

John Nicolls of Pennsauken has been coming out each year to participate.

"I came to pay respect to not only the fallen victims of 9/11, but their families," Nicolls said.

The "We Shall Never Forget" monument was dedicated to the city on Sept. 11, 2003 as a tribute to the victims, as well as the responders who saved lives back on September 11, 2001.

Fellow police officers and firefighters were thinking of those responders as they attended the memorial.

"I'm out here to support the town and all my brothers and sisters in the police and fire service that passed on 9/11," Pennsauken police officer and volunteer firefighter William Hertline said.

The display of flags will remain in place all day today and will be removed at midnight by many of the same residents who placed the flags there.

The monument consists of five components: a large granite wall, monument base, grassy field, granite pavers and a life-sized sculpture.

The black-polished granite wall represents the Twin Towers. Engraved on it are the times each airplane hit the New York towers, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the plane that crashed in the Shankesville, Pa field.

The base of the monument is five-sided, representing the shape of the Pentagon, with the words, "Courage, Hope, Bravery, Compassion and Peace," inscribed on each of the corners.

Inside the monument, the earth, flowers and field represent the field in Shankesville, Pa. where the plane crashed. Granite pavers represent the thoughts and prayers of many Americans.

The sculpture is from a photograph taken shortly after the collapse of the two towers. It's a bronze statue that contains life-sized images of a firefighter, police officer, emergency medical technician, businessman and rescue dog.

It sits in the front corner of the monument on Route 130 at Merchantville Avenue. The sculpture was designed by Brian Hanlon of Toms River, who modeled the businessman after his brother, Andrew, who escaped from Tower One.

The sculpture and monument took about 6 months from planning to installation.

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