Belleville, IL World Trade Center Memorial Walkway




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September 3, 2014

Belleville 9/11 Memorial Postponed

A dedication ceremony for a new 9/11 memorial in the metro east is postponed because there isn't enough money to finish it. The committee in charge is now hoping that large corporate donations can help.

The 7,000 pound steel column is a piece of the World Trade Center, and right now it's stuck at Belleville Fire Station No. 4. It will be the centerpiece of the memorial, but committee members still need hundreds of thousands of dollars for construction. It's a piece of history that has its own story.

The once sturdy straight steel column is now twisted and curved after burning and falling on Sept. 11, 2001. It's been at Belleville's Fire Station No. 4 for three years. Just waiting to be placed out front as the centerpiece of a 9/11 memorial.

"I never thought it would take this long, none of us thought it would take this long," fire captain and committee member David Zahn said.

He says they raised about $90,000 in three years, for a project that in the end will probably take half a million.

"We are piecemealing it at this point as far as fundraising, we need those large donations," he said.

Their plan is to create not just a place for the column to sit, but an experience. With stops along the walkway that remember all the events of 9/11. One committee member says they take the column to parades and community events.

"To see people coming up and touching it, you know that they are remembering what happened that day and understanding that it did have an effect on all of our lives," said committee member Sharon Strausbaugh.

The committee's goal to dedicate the memorial this Sept. 11 is pushed back, but not cancelled.

"We will see this come to fruition and it will happen, we are not giving up," she said.

If you would like to donate to help with the memorial, you can participate in a 5K run this weekend or donate at their website.