An eight-foot steel beam from the north tower of the World Trade Center will be used on a 9/11 memorial in Medina by the Medina Evening Rotary Club.
PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge
MEDINA — Kelly Low made a vow on her friend’s deathbed that she would see a 9/11 memorial project through to the end.
Now, almost 17 years after the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history, Low, a member of Medina Evening Rotary Club, is the driving force behind a 9/11 memorial for the city.
Low, a professor at Ohio State University’s Wooster campus, said the project would cost about $80,000.
She said former Medina Mayor Jane Leaver and the Rotary’s Bill Cohen had discussions about a local 9/11 project.
She said Cohen ran across an advertisement where nonprofits could apply for a piece of the World Trade Center that was destroyed when al-Qaida terrorists rammed two hijacked commercial airliners into the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Another commercial airliner hit the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in rural Pennsylvania after passengers and crew fought back against the hijackers.
About a year later, the Rotary received an 8-foot piece of steel from the north tower.
Number One Landscaping, 3775 Ridge Road, Medina, will handle the construction that could take six to eight weeks.
“I am so happy,” Low said. “I told Bill Cohen on his deathbed I would to see this through to the end. He passed in 2013. Mayor Leaver and him can look down on us from heaven.”
Leaver died in September 2014.
Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the Rotary Club has committed to fund the project along with assistance from corporate and personal donations.
Low said a GoFundMe page will be set up, as well as a paver-brick program.
“We want to get the community involved, even if it’s $5, so that it’s not just the Rotary Club,” she said.
Low said this memorial will have historical significance.
“There was a whole generation of kids born after 9/11 that didn’t live through that day like we did,” she said. “We want to educate people for ever and ever. I don’t know if any other place in Northeast Ohio has a piece (of the tower) this big.
“It’s telling a story for generations to come. It’s very important for historical purposes. How could this have happened? We are bringing some of this history to Medina.”
The reason Medina qualified for this historical artifact was the fact that United Airlines Flight 93, one of the four hijacked planes that day, turned around in Ohio and flew over Medina County before crashing in Somerset County, Pa.
“They were over our head and minutes later were gone,” Low said. “They prevented the plane from hitting the White House.”
Low said money for the project needed to be in the bank to move forward. She is hoping to raise a “nest egg” of about $100,000 to help with future maintenance, repairs and improvements of park benches and a pavilion.
“We are hoping to recoup all of the ($80,000) and more,” said Low, who recently received a $5,000 donation.
“We’re already ahead of the game,” she said.
Hanwell said once the project is completed, the project will be turned over to the city to maintain.
“The benefit of having it adjacent to the Fire Station is there is an existing parking lot, as well as restrooms and meeting room in the station for groups who visit during normal business hours,” he said in an email.
“It is also in tribute to the numerous firemen in New York that perished trying to save the many victims trapped inside (the World Trade Center). We are very thankful for the Medina Evening Rotary Club’s commitment to build this 9/11 memorial in our community for the benefit of all as well as future generations.”
City Council’s Finance Committee approved the project 6-0 Monday. Council will decide Feb. 12 whether to permit land on the south side of Medina Fire Station 1 — at West Reagan Parkway and North Huntington Street — to be used for the memorial.
Low said she is gathering a small group of Rotary Club members and community leaders from across Medina County to assist with ideas, marketing, communication and fundraising talks. If interested in lending a hand, contact her at (330) 607-8670 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or email@example.com.