Written by: Jasmine Ramos - Contributing Writer
Publication: Monmouth University's - The Outlook Newspaper
Project: Monmouth University: 9/11 Memorial
Students were able to pay their respect at the new memorial, a piece of the World Trade Center that is placed in front of Edison Hall in honor of the victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. The memorial was donated two years ago but was put on display at the beginning of the school year.
The University came together to commemorate the tragic loss that occurred 12 years ago, which began with the scheduled ringing of the bells that called for a moment of silence throughout the University in honor of the lives lost.
The University’s September 11 Veteran Memorial is created from a piece of steel that was pulled directly from the World Trade Center wreckage site. On the podium, the message “Here stands once more a symbol to 9/11 Heroes and America’s Military Veterans” is engraved.
Luis and Judith Eisenberg donated the memorial two years ago as the current trustees of the University’s Student Veterans Association. During the time of Sept. 11, Luis Eisenberg was the Chairman to the Port Authorities of New Jersey and New York, which owned part of the World Trade Center. ThePort Authority had an office within one of the Twin Towers, and according to a New York 1 story, lost 84 employees in the attack, 34 of them being Authority Police.
Eisenberg spoke to NJ.com on September 13, 2001 about the horrific attacks, “For an agency that at one time or another touches virtually everybody in the region, the human loss was ‘incalculable.’ Everything will be different, but we will move forward.”
The University’s memorial is a result of the company moving forward through the honoring of the lives lost during the attack and the wars that followed.
Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student and Community Service said, “It is meant to recognize the sacrifice of so many people for what you and I very much enjoy today, which is our freedom to live, worship and work, and unfortunately there are places in this world where you cannot do that every day.”
Klose Associates Inc, an International Design and Production company was involved in creating the memorial.
Raymond G. Klose, President and CEO of the Klose Associates and alumnus of the University, was approached by the University to look at the project.
Klose said, “After our first meeting with the University we offered to provide 3D designs, plans, engineering along with project production supervision. I wanted to extend to the University all of our creative resources to help this project along. Veterans Affairs, First Responders and the tragedy of September 11 is an especially sensitive subject in the surrounding communities.”
Klose continued, “The podium idea was immediate upon examination of the [World Trade Center] artifact and a tour of the proposed location. Facing the Student Center and at the base of the stairs…”
Klose further explained, “The podium was chosen to provide an opportunity to display the artifact in an upright vertical position, ‘providing support’ for an exchange of creative ideas and solutions. A platform for the expression of individual forward thinking and a natural gathering place that would encourage peaceful intelligent debate.”
Georga Torres, a freshman, said, “I think it is important that the school has something to remember those lives that were innocently lost on 9/11. Many people on campus probably have some sort of connection to that day or know someone that probably lost someone close to them and it is a good way to keep them in our memory for their bravery.”
Torres continued, “9/11 was such a tragic event, and it was important to remember those who lost their lives trying to save our country. These people were mothers, fathers, sons, daughter and it is important to commutate their acts of valor.”
“Since 9/11 affected all of America, they should be remembered everywhere, especially here at Monmouth,” said Akintunde Obafemi, a freshman.
“That day is a day that, we as Americans, can come together and remember those brave men and women and say we are proud to be Americans,” said Obafemi.
On November 11, the school will be holding a dedication to the memorial, where Mr. and Mrs. Eisenberg are invited, during a National Call of Remembrance. The names of those who were lost, not only during September 11, but those who served overseas after September 11 will be remembered on that day.