Remembering takes many forms in area cities and towns
A 13-foot beam from the World Trade Center is the cornerstone of a new 9/11 memorial being unveiled in Ridgefield on Sunday.
The monument sits on a pentagonal base. There are three benches to bear the four names of Ridgefield residents who died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The monument on the Parks & Recreation grounds at 195 Danbury Road will be unveiled in a ceremony Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
"It certainly represents the feelings of many people ... this is something that we could never forget," First Selectman Rudy Marconi said.
Among its features, the flight numbers of the doomed 9/11 planes are engraved in the stone, so when the sun rises they will be illuminated.
In Newtown, a private 9/11 memorial was created by resident Howard Lasher, who commissioned Southbury artist David Merrill to paint the American flag across six maple trees on Lasher's Route 302 property.
The town of Kent might have had a 9/11 memorial to honor its only terrorist attack victim from that day, James Gadiel, a 23-year-old assistant trader killed in the North Tower. His father, Peter Gadiel, approached town officials two years ago about erecting a plaque at town hall to memorialize his son.
Controversy arose, though, from the proposed wording of the memorial plaque. Peter Gadiel wanted it to say that his son was "murdered" by "Muslim extremists."
Ruth Epstein, who was first selectman of Kent at the time, would not agree to the wording. The debate drew national media attention, and still arouses much sensitivity when discussed today.
Kent First Selectman Bruce Adams, a selectman at the time, recounted what happened.
"(Epstein) was all for (a memorial) and so was I," Adams said. "It became quite controversial because of the wording (Peter Gadiel) was absolutely insisting upon. After researching, we found other 9/11 memorials did not have the wording "Muslim extremists" and thought it would be offensive.
"The debate heated up to the point that Bill O'Reilly, on his show, threatened to send a bus up here and make me put the monument up. Fox News called me at home and asked me to appear on one of the shows."
Kent still has no memorial, but the town's 9/11 memorial service is Sunday.
Adams said he sent an invitation to Peter Gadiel and hopes he attends.
"I would love to have him there," Adams said.
Gadiel said he would decline the invitation.
"Every memorial I'm aware of downplays or ignores the role of Muslims in this, Gadiel said. "This was a religiously inspired act. I've seen pictures of a memorial in California that says the towers collapsed. There's more to this. It's just not right. It's a whitewashing of history."
Danbury's 9/11 memorial is a 12-foot sculpture on a five-sided granite base. A plaque bears the dedication "In loving memory to Connecticut victims of the terrorist attack on the United States September 11, 2001." The memorial was dedicated in 2004 and is at Elmwood Park on Main Street.
The sculpture is of shards of broken glass that were fused into a hollow rectangle in the shape of tower. Within it, on a long sheet of glass are the names of the 152 victims from Connecticut.
In New Milford, the town's 9/11 memorial overlooks the baseball fields at Young's Field Park and the Housatonic River. It is located in the Patriots Way Parking Plaza.
It is two granite slabs, a square base with a pentagon-shaped stone on top. In the center is a hole for a flagpole and on either side of the monument are spotlights that illuminate the flag at night and represent the two World Trade Center towers.
There are two plaques with the monument. One reads: "In memory of September 11, 2001." The other says: "This monument honors all those who lost their lives in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on that fateful day."
Contact Donna Christopher at email@example.com or 203-731-3347.