TOWAMSENSIN – A metal memorial stands for one of America’s darkest days on Sumneytown Pike, just off the side of the road north of Montco Technical Vocational Center.
And almost two decades later, that memorial is still teaching students about September 11, 2001, how the world changed – and how the local students chose that dark day.
“On the first anniversary of 9/11, our teachers asked students to ask for input, and Mary Anne’s students wanted to create the garden,” said Suzet Makhaw, a spokesman for North Monaco.
In the months following the attack, Mary Ann Free, a horticultural teacher with the school, designed the school’s 9/11 memorial garden, a landscape bed on the lawn near the school’s entrance. In the garden is a statue of Bill Ludlow, a welding teacher who has since died, and John Garnett, a 2003 welding student of the NMTCC class.
At the back of the garden are two red rose trees, representing the twin towers of the World Trade Center that were destroyed that day. Since those special trees were chosen along with the large redwoods of Sequoia, which grew up in California, they destroyed each tower before the two flights were hijacked. Their needles turn yellow-orange each fall before you lose them, empty trees are designed to revive the two towers, and green needles return in the spring to remind you that life will continue.
In front of those two trees, a five-sided penthouse designed to represent the Pentagon building on 9/11 will be left in the South American shrubs and white Japanese squash flowers that turn red in autumn and leaves that do not sprout in winter. The lawn itself is intended to commemorate the wildflowers and grasses of Pennsylvania that day, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at any time of the year.
And in the middle of the bed, still standing proudly, Carved in 2003 by Garnet as a major project and commemorated that year, it is a stainless steel statue of New York City before the attacks. Smaller stainless steel buildings stand four feet taller each, compared to the two towers, which are lightweight and have been designed for more than a year.
A.D. In the first anniversary of the 2002 attacks, North Montko hosted a luncheon and ceremony to honor local police, firefighters, paramedics and veterans from military branches, according to Media News Group archives. A.D. That ritual continued until the 2010 Rehabilitation Project took up most of the space needed to maintain their vehicles, and usually consisted of giving flowers to each first respondent, who placed them on the sculpture.
Students in the school’s flower design and landscape classes will be able to take care of the garden during the school year, organize memorial services, and collect flower arrangements by selling floral arrangements. McHig said this week, due to COVID-19, there will be no major school-wide event this year, but teachers are celebrating the day in other ways. Two security service teachers will discuss the violence in their classroom, and then next week they will be studying PTSD and patriotic law, this morning (Friday), when they visit the memorial garden, one day before the celebration.
Garnett, a student sculptor, had not been in contact with the school for several years, and his grandparents had attended the event for many years after the celebration, but then stopped, Fry said. A.D. In 2013, long-time school administrator Michael Lucas celebrated the anniversary with a video posted by the school on the meaning of the memorial.
“Around 9/11, the first anniversary of the disaster, teachers and staff decided to create a living monument here in North Montko. Students have worked together to create this wonderful memorial,” he said.
There were many losses that day, and there were many heroes. The memorial was designed to honor both.