City’s new 9/11 memorial stirs emotions

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As we reflect on the 22-year anniversary of 9/11, we must honor the memory of those we lost and the sacrifices made by countless individuals who responded to the crisis with bravery and compassion. It is equally important to acknowledge the enduring challenges and complexities that emerged from that tragic day in 2001.

Students around their respective campuses still reflect on this day. Shamya Alston, a senior nursing major at Florida A&M, says it is a day she will never forget.

“Though I was young when it happened, I can say that from what I’ve learned over the years, it was a horrific day for many Americans, especially those in New York during that time,” Alston said.

Many other students, like Alston, have had the chance to take a look at the new Tallahassee memorial by Michael Terhune. Terhune told WTXL that he had been working on this sculpture for 14 years, and now Tallahassee has its own memorial of the event.

The memorial by Terhune, a first responder, was unveiled earlier this month on the anniversary of 9/11. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Terhune had been working at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare on September 11, 2001. From that day forward, Terhune took it upon himself to pay his respects in a way he felt was memorable.

After receiving a piece of 11-foot steel beam from the World Trade Center’s south tower in 2011, he set out on a mission. Twelve years later, Tallahassee is home to a monumental piece of history.

Located near the Red Cross headquarters by Tom Brown Park, it is the first 9/11 memorial in Tallahassee which features the beam and the names of those lost in the tragedy.

Residents and students alike can pay their respects here. Orlando native and Florida State University student Gaelle Pierre, says that she feels it does a great job of putting a tragedy like that in focus.

“It’s 2023 going into 2024,” Pierre said. “It has been 22 years since 9/11, and seeing a monument like that causes people to reflect and realize that this was an event that thousands lost their lives to.”

9/11 serves as a stark reminder that the world can change in an instant. It underscores the importance of fostering resilience, unity and international cooperation in the face of adversity.

While the scars from 9/11 will never fully heal, we must ensure that the lessons learned are not forgotten and that we continue to work towards a more peaceful and secure world.