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Bringing a Memorial to Life in New Jersey
By Gail Woolcott, New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association

Volunteers completed the 9-11 living memorial in Fairview, N.J. on September 10, just in time for the memorial service that evening. (The project was completed in less than a month, all by volunteers from the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association and local community contractors.)

In addition to the 9-11 memorial, a police memorial in the western section of the site that will be receiving plaques and additional inscribed pavers from the Fairview police department. It included a masonry stone seat wall and planter, three flag poles, a police insignia inscribed in bluestone and polished granite insets.

With twisted steel from the World Trade Center's Ground Zero draped in an American flag and two pieces of granite from Tower 2 as a reminder of the attacks, members of the Fairview, N.J. community and neighboring towns came together for the unveiling of a newly erected 9/11 memorial to honor the heroes and victims of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Spear-heading the campaign was third generation and life-long Fairview resident, Al Demuro who responded as an emergency medical technician on the day of the attack, along with his wife Cheryl. "I've been working on this campaign for nine years now with the help of Fairview's American Legion and the Greek Orthodox Church of Ascension," said Al Demuro. "The local Police Department brought the desire for a memorial to my attention about a year ago and we were surprised that when TD Bank got wind of this, they offered the use of their property."

Teaming up with the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association and numerous other companies in the surrounding area helped significantly in bringing this vision to life. NJLCA leadership, staff, and members such as Hufnagel Landscaping, Bobcat of North Jersey, Gamka Sales Co., Four Seasons Irrigation & Landscape, John Deere Landscapes, Vista Lighting and Atlantic Irrigation contributed hours of dedication, support and hard labor to the projerct.

Many of the materials were donated or deeply discounted for the project. The property was leased to the town for 99 years for 1 dollar from TD Bank. It includes a 10-foot section of steel from ground zero along with two pieces of granite flooring from Tower 7, inscribed pavers, granite memorials, benches, planters, trees, lighting and irrigation. Even companies so far as Canete Landscape in Wayne, N.J. have risen to the occasion. Owner, Tom Canete said "This is a time of need. We want everyone to know that this industry genuinely cares deeply about the members of our community. We are proud to see so many people coming together to support one another."

At the service Saturday evening, Senator Robert Menendez was the keynote speaker and presentations were made by Congressman Steven Rothman, Master Sergeant George Zavedinos of the US Army as well as the eight families directly affected by this tragedy.

"It was a very touching and somber evening" said NJLCA president and project manager Jody Shilan. "We know that there were various projects built in our local communities, along with the memorial at ground zero itself in New York City, but this project has a great story, is absolutely beautiful in detail and was embraced by the entire community of Fairview and beyond. We estimated the retail value of the project to be close to $200,000 with the town outlaying less than $40,000."

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June 18, 2019, 8:57 pm PDT

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