The founder of Team Guardian, retired Tallahassee Fire Department Lt. Michael Terhune, unveiled a 9/11 memorial design Saturday at Cascades Park that is set to be completed by the end of this year.
Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
In the weeks following the 9/11 attack, Terhune would see on social media and in the news the names and photos of the firefighters who gave their lives that day.
Terhune started an impromptu memorial outside of the Tallahassee fire station, consisting of photos of those firefighters killed in the event. In 2004, Terhune orchestrated a memorial motorcycle ride with his motorcycle club and drove around Capital Circle and had a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. to honor those who had lost their lives after seeing there was no memorial being held.
“There was nothing, nobody was doing anything,” Terhune said. “No memorial, no anniversary, no moment of silence — nothing.” Terhune ran the memorial each year up until 2011, which had over 1,000 motorcycles, a flyover and a military presence.
“As firemen, there’s this brotherhood,” Terhune said. “The first year I got a fire department tattoo that says never forget.”
Terhune said it is disheartening it was to see that there is no memorial in Tallahassee for the 20th anniversary.
“I’ve lost friends overseas from going to war as a result of what happened on 9/11,” Terhune said. “I’m now one of the numerous military people, because of the days of that events that are now permanently scarred from PTSD overseas.”
In 2002, Terhune was in jump school and the following year and was sent to fight in the war in Iraq.
Terhune acquired an actual piece of history — part of a steel beam from the World Trade center — given to him through the 9/11 Family Association. “2011 is when I got the steel beam with intentions of making a memorial art piece here in town,” Terhune said. He said he worked with the Red Cross and Leon County to get the plot of land for the memorial.
“We have an agreement between Team Guardian, Leon County and the Red Cross.” Terhune. said “We will actually have a finalized memorial here in town dedicated to that day.”
The memorial will have the steel beam placed at an angle as an interactive sundial. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the memorial will be placed across from the Red Cross office on Eastwood Drive near Tom Brown park.
For more information, contact Team Guardian Inc at Ter1max@aol.com.