Sept. 11 memorial in Greenville somber reminder of tragedy 20 years later

Local News

GREENVILLE, Wis. (WFRV) – Saturday’s somber reminder is served as a daily reminder in Greenville of what happened 20 years ago.

The memorial is right off State Highway 76, outside the town’s public safety building, at W6895 Parkview Dr.

Greenville is actually one of nearly two dozen places across Wisconsin that has artifacts from that day.

For firefighters like Ryan Yonekura, it serves as a daily reminder. His fire station is across the street.

“It’s kind of humbling to see their sacrifice for what they did,” he explains. “What you have to do every day. And you’re not wanting to do that sacrifice but you’re willing to.”

The beams stand about 13-feet tall and weigh about 2,700 pounds each. They were part of the outer structure of the towers that once stood. While many people ask, the village says it’s not known which tower the pieces came from.

Two beams from the World Trade Center stand at the Sept. 11 memorial in Greenville, Wis., on Sept. 9, 2021 (WFRV)

However, the memorial is much more than that. It is meant to also honor those who died on United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the other plane crash at the Pentagon, as well as what happened at Ground Zero.

The features include a waterfall, which is a nod to the memorial in New York City.

There’s also a Pentagon on the ground, as a reminder of American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into it.

“If you stand where the Pentagon shape is, that’s the exact longitude and latitude of the towers as they sit, or were sitting,” says Yonekura.

The memorial also features the same kind of tree in the rubble from the Twin Towers and it was later replanted at New York’s memorial. A bush of roses, next to the beams in Greenville, is meant to represent first responders, and survivors, of that fateful day.

An accent strip in the wall around the memorial, a darker red color, is a nod to the 343 New York City firefighters who died.

That same number, “343” hangs inside the nearby fire station.

“We come out and look at that every day,” says Yonekura.

The artifacts in Greenville’s memorial are on permanent loan from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

They remain a permanent reminder of what happened two decades ago. One that proves to make sure it’s never forgotten.

The town is holding a public observance on Saturday to mark the 20 years since the attacks. It’s scheduled for 10 a.m. at the memorial, located at W6895 Parkview Dr., in Greenville.

You can learn more about the project, which was completed in 2012, on the town’s website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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