SOUTH WINDSOR -- SOUTH WINDSOR – A special dedication ceremony was held in Connecticut with a piece of the World Trade Center in the spotlight.
The South Windsor Fire Department welcomed the community to remember September 11, 2011 with an unveiling of a memorial with an artifact from Ground Zero on Sunday.
The new 9-11 Memorial is thanks to the efforts of 17-year-old Eric Hofmann. As part of his Eagle Scout Project he was able to bring the memorial to life.
He watched his brother, Andrew, enhance the SWFD Memorial as his Eagle Scout Project and wanted to follow in his footsteps by adding a portion to commemorate the victims of 9-11.
Eric wrote letters to the NY/NJ Port Authority requesting an artifact from Ground Zero in 2014, knowing it was a long shot because there wasn’t much left.
“There were 50 pieces of steel, there were 150 applicants I was last in line,” he said. “I never got a response from them until a year later after I submitted so I thought about almost giving up on the project.”
He didn’t give up and in June 2015, he was shocked to receive word a piece of steel artifact was available for his project.
“It’s hard to believe that a kid who was at a very young age at the time did all this work,” Fire Chief Kevin Cooney said. “It’s a way that people can stop by, any time they want, look at it and really never forget.”
Hofmann said he chose the South Windsor Fire Department as the location to give back to his father and other firefighters who risk their lives for us every day.
He said even though he doesn’t have memories of the terrorist attack because he was very young, he wants this memorial to symbolize the importance of that day.
“I feel for what other people have gone through I've talked with many people who have said I've lost someone during that day,” Hofmann said. “It makes me feel good to represent what those lives mean.”
The memorial is not completed but the steel is on display. The “A-3336” imprinted on the side of the steel indicates its location. The “A” is for the North Tower and the 3336 tells us it was located between the 33rd and 36th floors.
The community pulled together to fund the memorial with help from local landscaping businesses and community donors.
Hofmann is a member of the SWFD Explorer Post 838 and BSA South Windsor Troop 880.