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Fort Lauderdale's Riverwalk Unveils New 9/11 Monument

Riverwalk 9-11 Monument.jpg
Genia Ellis, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale
The Riverwalk 9-11 monument nearing completion. The finished memorial will be unveiled today, September 11, 2020.

The monument will feature a piece of wreckage salvaged from Ground Zero in New York City.

Even the coronavirus pandemic isn’t standing in the way of Americans’ commemoration of 9/11.

In downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk today, the 19th anniversary of the terror attacks will be marked with the unveiling of a monument honoring the memories of the people who died that day.

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The monument will feature a portion of a train track. It’s a remnant from a subway station that was buried under the rubble of the collapsed World Trade Center towers on 9/11.

The idea of acquiring it was sparked by a discussion on NPR about three years ago, heard by members of Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, the non-profit organization that oversees all public land in the city’s downtown.

The segment mentioned that wreckage from Ground Zero was being shipped to communities across the country to create public monuments. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey decides who gets them.

"One of the main reasons that we appealed to the Port Authority for an artifact was because of the number of transplanted New Yorkers that call Fort Lauderdale home," says Patrick Harris, chief operating officer for Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale.

"In addition, many New Yorkers vacation in this area. So this would provide a unique sense of place for them."

Harris says the monument will cost Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale $300,000. The organization has spent $285,000 in funds raised and through in-kind donations. But Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale still needs an additional $15,000 to meet its obligations to the contractor.

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