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Smithville dedicates new 9/11 memorial on 17th anniversary of attacks

Posted at 6:29 AM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 08:00:19-04

SMITHVILLE, Mo. - The American Legion post in Smithville, Missouri established a memorial to honor the victims and first responders of the 9/11 attacks. 

Tuesday morning at 7:46, exactly 17 years after the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City, the post will unveil the memorial in Courtyard Park along Main Street downtown. 

The memorial features a piece of steel from Tower One. It's set at a slope in a granite square. Each side of the granite is dedicated to a different group involved in responding to the terrorist attack.

"It's most important to pay respect to the firefighters, law enforcement, and first responders. And quite frankly the Good Samaritans on that day who did things they never knew they'd be called on to do ever in their lifetime. And they stepped forward and did it anyway. I think that's remarkable and sends a statement of who we are as people," explained Dewayne Knott, a member of the American Legion post.

The group acquired the steel rail from the New York Port Authority roughly three years ago. It had been working to find a permanent location for the artifact ever since. Members of the Legion felt a public memorial would give the community a place to reflect and remember the attack's impact on American life. 

The memorial was designed with the steel rail coming out of the ground at an angle to inspire future generations. 

"It shows us that even though there is fear and darkness and death about us, we can rise above it and create a new day which that rail will do every day the sun comes up," Knott explained.

Organizers will hold a dedication ceremony on Tuesday, the 17th anniversary of the attacks.