Salem to dedicate new 9/11 memorial

The new 9/11 memorial in Salem was the brainchild of resident Pat Hargreaves and was made possible by the work of the Salem Won’t Forget Committee and created by Hudson Monuments of Hudson.

SALEM — Gov. Chris Sununu and a former New York firefighter are scheduled to help dedicate a new 9/11 memorial Wednesday evening.

Located at the four-way intersection at the corner of Bridge Street and Main Street at Salem Veterans Park on the green of an old firehouse, the memorial is about 10 feet wide and 10 feet tall, and depicts the World Trade Center towers in granite.

It will feature a chunk of steel from the destroyed twin towers in New York and other design elements to symbolize the concurrent attacks on the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.

It also pays tribute to the emergency responders who rushed into danger to save lives.

Just beneath the steel, propped up by two ladders between the two granite towers, is one word: Remember.

Pat Hargreaves, chairman of the Salem N.H. Won’t Forget Committee, said he chose that word because he wanted people to remember not only the lives lost in the attacks, but how united the nation became in the days and weeks that followed.

“It’s 18 years later, and I believe that people forgot,” Hargreaves said.

He said the 64 ladder rungs represent the number of ladder trucks that responded to the World Trade Center. The towers are each 110 inches high, representing the number of floors in each of the collapsed skyscrapers.

Hudson Monuments owner David Cote, who helped design and build the installation, said a timeline of events is engraved around the sides of the pentagonal base.

“So, it kind of draws you to walk around and reflect,” Cote said.

The pentagonal base and the towers are made from Barre gray granite from Vermont, and a slab of granite from Pennsylvania is cut in the shape of the state, with a cutout of an airplane over the location where Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville.

Engraved on the Pennsylvania-shaped slab are the words “Flight 93” and “Let’s Roll.”

Each tower weighs about 3,500 pounds, each piece of the pentagon weighs about 2,500 pounds and the Pennsylvania section weighs about 1,000 pounds, Hargreaves said. The entire monument was installed on a six-foot-deep foundation.

Hargreaves said light fixtures were installed for free by Liberty Utilities.

The dedication ceremony will begin at 6 p.m., according to committee member Cindi Woodbury.

Hargreaves will kick off the event with a welcome message, followed by an invocation by the Salem Fire Department chaplain, a pledge of allegiance and a message from Gov. Sununu.

The keynote speaker will be Bob Sapienza, a former New York firefighter and part of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Woodbury said Sapienza was instrumental in guiding the committee to obtain the piece of steel from the World Trade Center buildings.

The ceremony is scheduled to conclude with a ribbon cutting.

Hargreaves said he obtained the WTC steel in January 2018 with Town Manager Chris Dillon and former Salem Fire Chief Paul Parisi, who is now the state fire marshal.

The committee raised about $100,000 to fund the project, with the largest single donor being the Salem Firefighters Relief Association, which gave $18,000. They also got a $10,000 donation from the Knights of Columbus and a $5,000 donation from the Salem Historical Society.

The project came from an idea Hargreaves had, but he said he couldn’t have done anything without the help of his 17-member committee.

“I’m the idea man but it takes the whole crew to make it come true,” Hargreaves said.

“The Town of Salem is lucky to have the dedicated citizens and volunteers that provide these opportunities to the residents,” Dillon said in an emailed statement Tuesday. “So much thought, planning and hard work went into every part of this 9/11 memorial. I can’t thank them enough.”

The Salem N.H. Won’t Forget Committee was responsible for bringing the travelling Vietnam War memorial to town in 2015 and the travelling 9/11 memorial in 2017.

Cote designed the 9/11 memorials in Hudson and Dracut, Mass.