City of Mountain Home, Ark. unveils 9/11 memorial
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (KY3) - The city of Mountain Home unveiled its 9/11 memorial on Monday as part of the annual Memorial Day ceremony.
The monument, featured in Mountain Home’s Veterans Plaza, showcases a piece of steel from the Twin Towers. It also commemorates the lives lost in New York, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93.
Community donations paid for the monument. The Fire Department of New York dedicated the steel for the memorial. Mountain Home Firefighter Tommy Feliccia was vital in helping make the monument possible.
“We started about a year ago to get this thing all put together, last year being the 20th anniversary of 9/11,” said Feliccia. “We were granted that piece of steel, and it all started with a letter of request from the FDNY Commissioner.”
The monument means more to Felicia. His grandfather and uncle were members of the New York Fire Department.
“My grandfather was already retired, but my uncle was off duty (on 9/11),” said Fellicia. “They requested all off-duty FDNY to come to the nearest station. He responded to the nearest station and manned that station. He had a lot of people on shift that day. If seven were on shift, all seven, unfortunately, passed away.”
The City of Mountain Home, local fire and police departments, and the North Arkansas Veterans Association all teamed up to have the memorial unveiled Monday.
“9/11 is not just about people in New York,” said Feliccia. “People forget about the Pentagon, several military members that died that day and also Flight 93, people that brought that plane down in Pennsylvania.”
The monument was built free of charge by Bill Wikoff of Concrete Living and Engraving in Springfield, Illinois.
“We were asked to come down last September by Tommy looked at the drawing and said ‘of course,’” said Wikoff. “This is probably the coolest project we have ever done!”
Wikoff is a retired veteran, formerly a member of the Illinois National Guard for 23 years.
“It does mean a little bit more to me and my family,” said Wikoff. “It was just awesome to be able to be a part of it. The monument, just like Memorial Day, is a thank you to all those who have given their lives so we can enjoy our freedoms and everything we take for granted every day.”
“Sketched on the base up there, it says never forget, and when I’m long gone, I hope people still look at that and never forget,” said Feliccia.
The MHFD is waiting on an official dedication from New York to verify the authenticity of this piece of steel. Once received, it will be hung in city hall.
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