Mariposa County 9/11 Memorial Dedication Ceremony on September 11, 2012 at the Art ParkFull Audio of the Ceremony from the Presentation of Colors to the Benediction by Mariposa County Sheriff Captain John Trujillo(Press the Green Arrow to Play. Yellow Button is Pause and Red/Orange Button is Stop. Mouse over the Timeline Bar to advance or back up the Audio.)
Please scroll down for the SlideShowSeptember 11, 2001—A Day to Remember
The Mariposa 9-11 Memorial rises out of a base of colored and textured concrete that symbolizes the blood-dappled ground near Shanksville, PA where 40 selfless passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 sacrificed themselves so that many more would live. In the center of the adobe flats is a steel-grey Pentagon that continues, despite a savage attack, to serve as the nerve center of America’s military brain trust.
Rising from the center is a rock-solid pedestal facing true north and crafted from native Mariposite. Ringing the pedestal’s neck on four sides is polished granite inscribed with the words:
We Will Never Forget…2,753 Souls Who Perished at the World Trade Center-New York…184 Who Lost Their Lives In the Pentagon-Arlington, VA…With the Words “Let’s Roll” 40 Aboard UA-93 Sacrificed Their Lives So Others Would Live-Shanksville, PA.
The chaotic sculpture rests on a circular plate of America’s strongest steel. The sculpture is crafted from four steel I-beams recovered from the World Trade Center. The base beam pays homage to the 2,753 innocent civilians who went about their lives on the morning of September 11, 2001 and never returned to their families. Another represents 55 members of America’s military who perished in the Pentagon while serving their country. A third beam reminds us 60 law enforcement officers paid the ultimate price for trying to restore order out of mayhem. The fourth and final beam represents the 343 firefighters and EMS personnel who lost their lives running into the towers when everyone else was attempting to escape.
While the sculpture appears to be a pile of steel rubble, it is anything but random. As they stand, the beams are fixed at angles of 9, 11, 20 and 01 degrees, symbolic of that infamous date. When viewed from above the first and lowest beam is anchored pointing true north, representative of the North Tower, the first tower hit and last to fall. A brace was strategically placed at 17 degrees or minutes, the time elapsed between the first and second airplane strike. This brace represents that moment in time that America braced herself fully understanding we had entered into a new era. At that moment we traveled full circle from a nation at peace to one at war. Subtracting 17 minutes from that 360 degree base leaves 343—the number of firefighters who perished.
UA Flight 93 was forced out of the sky by 40 heroes who understood their plight and fought back—“Let’s Roll” became America’s first strike. Their great sacrifice saved countless other American lives. At the bottom of this brace is an interactive and contemplative ring. It must travel up before coming down as did Flight 93 near Shanksville, PA. This ring also moves around in circles as did many Americans that fateful day and is symbolic of this truly moving memorial.
On either side of the pedestal are two gleaming stainless steel towers. Both are internally lit with a beam of light and hope. Flanking either side are traditional flagpoles displaying an American flag and a 9-11 flag.
Mariposa’s 9-11 Memorial ties artifacts and symbolism from America’s eastern sites to elements of the west through use of Mariposite, granite and indigenous flora while preserving the historic values of a foundation wall from one of Mariposa’s original buildings. Mariposa’s 9-11 Memorial represents the message of hope, strength and National unity that has emerged from that unprecedented attack on American soil. WE WILL NEVER FORGET!Mariposa County Fire ChiefJim Wilson