COMING SOON... May 2021
September 11th, Patriot Day, is a time to foster remembrance and quiet reflection on the tragic events of 9.11.01 as well as the bravery displayed by those who responded to the attack. This is also a time to foster awareness when those who do not remember that day can learn about the occurrence and how it impacted specific lives, their loved ones, and indeed, all of America. The 9/11 Memorial at Montgomery Park near the Montgomery Veterans Memorial is open daily during park hours to any respectful visitors.
Montgomery Township suffered the loss of Four Residents on 9/11.
Three from the Township - PHILIP L. PARKER - STEVEN GOLDSTEIN - BRIAN THOMAS CUMMINS - and One - WILLIAM F. FALLON JR. from nearby Rocky Hill - a community that falls under Montgomery Township in several ways to include sharing services and the School System.
The original 911 Memorial Area was created in 2002 - spearheaded by resident Huguette Castaneda - and dedicated on September 11th of that year. Since 2002 - there have been no ongoing Patriot Day Celebrations at the site and in fact, over the years the site had declined significantly in appearance overall. The Area was within the lawn area, the Flagpole was too small, and the most-important element - the Piece of Granite From The World Trade Center was in a mulch bed - a bed often full of weeds. From the lower vantage point - the numerous athletic fields filled with children and parents on a regular basis - the site appeared even worse.
Unlike the nearby Veterans Memorial - there were no names listed within the current 911 Memorial. While there is indeed a Memorial in Rocky Hill for William Fallon, Jr. - The Identity and subsequent Memory of these other three were largely unknown - and quite frankly - forgotten by the masses.
Such the catalyst for The Project ahead here within...
After visiting the 911 Memorial on September 11th, 2016 - in the months ahead, members of Landscape Marshal made arrangements for a meeting between the Veterans Memorial Committee, Park Officials, as well as Township Officials. This included Karen Zimmerman, Montgomery Township Recreation Department, who have played a key role in the Memorial from the onset. The idea was to redo the entire Memorial Area through the EP Henry Heroscaping Program. Prior to that meeting, we reached out to EP Henry and the Heroscaping Program Coordinator, Micki Margot, to see what the possibilities were. Micki was very supportive of the concept and in fact, encouraged our submitting an application for their program.
After a successful meeting with all at the Park with everyone agreeing that it was time for a major overhaul and as everyone was onboard with the idea - we began the process and submitted the application through Landscape Marshal in December of 2016.
In January 2017 - EP Henry approved the project...
The very first consideration in creating the design was the fact that we must conform to the existing landscaping. For fifteen years - loved ones have been coming to the Memorial on their own time and knew it as it was. We did not want to - in any way, shape or form - alter or negatively change the atmosphere that they had grown accustomed to. ONLY Improve.
This was a real challenge to include the overall site elevations and grade.
The Design we ultimately came up with is as presented here. It allowed for a design/build that in essence, was completely complementary to the existing site footprint to include "rolling" with existing pathway grade and all elevation points.
>Incorporating the Park Pathway into it. We wanted people to walk through it as they walked the Park - keeping all that it stands for "alive" in people's thoughts as they went about their daily routines.
>Incorporating Four Entry Points - North/South/East/West - to include Steps down from and onto the athletic fields - encouraging and inviting Parents and Students to easily pass through.
>Incorporating a new Regulation Flagpole - the exact same as found at the Veterans Memorial but 5' higher to account for the elevation difference between the two Memorials - the Flagpole itself built into patio - enabling children in particular to stop and touch it, be able to stand with it, be able to stand directly under the Flag. This also makes it much easier for ongoing flag maintenance etc.
>Incorporating the Granite Block From The World Trade Center as the Center Point. We wanted visitors to be able to touch it - to be close to it - also incorporating decorative but functioning surrounding walls for sitting nearby. Additionally, we made arrangements for the inscription of the three residents killed from Montgomery Township - in the patio and directly in front of the Granite Block.
>Incorporating a most-meaningful reasoning around the existing boulder - an 8' section of the wall "removed " and set back as part of the Ongoing Educational Series held at the site - meant to remind people - particularly children - that Section 8 of the US Flag Code addresses the fact that Our Flag "is a living thing - that living things need nurtured" - The boulder symbolizing our resolve as a Country to remain steadfast despite this horrific tragedy in our Country's History.
>Incorporating a Pewter Blend Hardscaping - Patio and Walls - to best fit into the Park and Veterans Memorial as predominantly grey.
>Incorporating a uniform paver - 12 x 12 - allowing for a uniform look as well as a symbolic meaning within the Ongoing Educational Series of the 12 hrs am - 12 hrs pm - the 24 hours in our days.
>Incorporating the Community into the Project in all ways - making it a TEAM PROJECT.
>Incorporating Plans to work directly with the Community in holding regularly scheduled events and celebrations to include Patriot Day.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many local volunteers including the local Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts also participated in the project. This included an empathy exercise by having the scouts work in wheelchairs.
Troop 850 held its monthly meeting in May at the site. Among other most-relative topics surrounding 9/11 - the significance of 9/11 and the Memorial, the symbolic meaning behind a flag raising was explained. All scouts participated in a simulated flag raising with the old flag pole and a special flag provided by Congressman Leonard Lance's Office - a Capital-flown flag flown on 9.11.16. that would also be used for the Re-dedication Ceremony on Memorial Day. All present would then sign the old flag pole.
LANDSCAPE MARSHAL - DESIGN/INSTALLATION/MAINTENANCE [200+ HOURS] * EP HENRY - DONATED ALL MATERIALS * Montgomery Public Works - INITIAL EXCAVATION/BASE STONE DELIVERY/NEW FLAGPOLE [15 HOURS] * Montgomery Veterans Memorial Committee - INITIAL MEETING/APPROVALS [3 HOURS] * Montgomery Recreation Department - INITIAL MEETING/APPROVALS [3 HOURS] * Montgomery Cub/Boy Scout Troop's 46-850 - WORK SESSIONS/MONTHLY MEETING [6 HOURS] * MASPRO-IMAGERY - ASSIST IN INSTALLATION [12 HOURS] * WEINGART LANDSCAPING - ASSIST IN INSTALLATION AND MULCH APPLICATION [6 HOURS] * NORTH BRUNSWICK CONSTRUCTION - DONATED EXTRA CAPS/ADHESIVE] * NJ MULCH - DONATED MULCH * BELLE MEAD CO-OP - DONATED MISC. MATERIALS * SUTPHEN MEMORIALS - DONATED NAME INSCRIPTION * H.J. OPDYKE LUMBER CO - REDUCED COST: PORTLAND MIX FOR EDGING * BOB & AMY HINDES - DONATED MISC. MATERIALS * EAST COAST MEDIA - REDUCED COST: DEDICATION PROGRAMS * BLOOMS at Belle Mead - DONATED SALVIA * HOME DEPOT - South Brunswick - REDUCED COST: MINIATURE FLAGS TO LINE ENTIRE PATHWAY - DEDICATION
New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association