August 11, 2020
Four weeks from today, at 8:46 a.m., the Portsmouth Police Department will hold the annual Memorial Observance of the events of September 11, 2001. Today, in the 90+ degree heat, a small army of volunteers landscaped and planted the area around an 1100 lb. 9/11 Steel Artifact to prepare it for next month’s Memorial Service. The scarred steel I-beam, which was literally part of one of the World Trade Center towers, is the centerpiece of the Memorial site.
The volunteer team comprises Portsmouth citizens and local businesses, who have been working with Chief Merner’s office and Captain Mark Newport for a couple of years to pull together commitments and donations to get this Memorial niche properly finished, without having a budget or funding to get the work done. This is community/police collaboration at its best. The goal was to provide the citizens, visitors, and present and future police officers and firefighters with a permanent site that honors the memory of the New York Police Officers and Firefighters who lost their lives in the performance of their duty that day.
Profound thanks go to Matt Gunn of M Gunn Designs, along with Penny and Max Bartko, Janice Gray, and Marilyn Zimman for working with us, and pulling together all sorts of material commitments along with their own physical labor to transform the site ahead of the September 11th Memorial. Special thanks go to Portsmouth DPW for supplying the pieces only they can provide.