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9.11.01 Memorial Plaza, Palm Beach Gardens

11 September 2011

9.11.01 Memorial Plaza, Palm Beach Gardens

26º 48′ 33″ N / 80º 06′ 58″ W

NE corner of Northlake Blvd and Howell Lane in Palm Beach Gardens FL

9.11.01 Memorial Plaza in Palm Beach Gardens FL — photo by Joseph May

On this tenth anniversary I vividly remember that morning, as most of us do. Each recalling where each was the instant it was learned of the indiscriminate murders of so many innocent people — only guilty of being in the USA.

I was home with a virus. After getting the coffee brewing I turned on the TV and was surprised to see that one of the World Trade Center towers had several floors on fire. A few minutes later I witnessed an airliner flown straight and true into the other tower — at speed and with clear intent to collide. Immediately I recognized the airliner was a weapon and the towers were the targets, no great analysis there. I recalled what I had read of the B-25 Mitchell bomber collision into the Empire State Building decades before — engines would continue to travel — through sheer momentum — tearing away building supports, fuel would spill and ignite while draining to lower floors and the ensuing fire would spread upwards by following its own draft.

Obviously we, the USA, were under attack and if there were two airliners involved then there would likely be more. But how many more? And where?

Headline of the Palm Beach Post that day — photo by Joseph May

The military would have everyone alerted in moments and armed forces personnel would do what they do so well, stand to into danger, in their parlance “Everyone! NOW!”

Then I saw one tower collapse and for once I regretted my geological training. I knew that great weight was falling (called mass wasting in the science) and it would scythe a horrible swath. The crushing momentum generating wind travelling at hundreds of miles per hour in the rapid and massive displacement of air. Everything in its way and not welded down would be blown out of the building to free fall to the ground below. Thankfully the TV could not show the detail of people blown out into the New York atmosphere to plummet to the sidewalks below nor the people, especially those brave souls who ran to the fire, being crushed by the collapsing floors.

As fate turned out thousands were killed in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and those who combatted their hijackers — and doing so denied them their target to valiantly perish in a field near Shanksville PA.

Recently, Palm Beach Gardens FL erected a memorial that includes WTC South Tower Column C-89. This remnant of the World Trade Center is tortured, twisted and weathered yet stands tall without regard for the elements or the passing of time. It serves to recall those who were taken from us and also reminds us that we endure.

Column C-89 of the South Tower of the World Trade Center (vertically extending from Floor 12 through Floor 15) with a total weight of about 21,000 pounds (~9600kg) — photo by Joseph May

Joint between a spandrel plate and flange plate, distorted and torn — photo by Joseph May

Spandrel plate, each weighed about 4400 pounds (~2000kg) — photo byJoseph May

Included in the memorial are plaques of information as well of the names of the casualties on eight clear panels. There are so many names.

Some of the names of the dead — photo by Joseph May

And more names behind those named above — photo by Joseph May

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cate permalink
    11 September 2011 14:51

    A very moving tribute to those families and victims involved. Thank you Joe.

  2. shortfinals permalink
    11 September 2011 21:42

    A sad day……….and one we should all remember. Thank you very much for this.

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