HomeMullica Hill NewsMayor’s Message — 9/11 Memorial site finalized

Mayor’s Message — 9/11 Memorial site finalized

Mayor Louis Manzo announces the Mullica Hill Baptist Church as the designated site for the 9/11 Memorial

This past Sept. 11, we held a recognition ceremony in William Wilt Park commemorating the 16th anniversary of that day in 2001 that changed our world forever. We took the opportunity to display the artifacts we have secured in recent years from the three sites associated with the events of that day: Ground Zero in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and a field in Shanksville, Pa. During that ceremony, I announced we would make a final decision for the permanent location of our 9/11 Memorial to be constructed by the anniversary next year. I also mentioned the site of that ceremony at William Wilt Park was one of the finalists for the permanent memorial. The fact is, as we stood there that day back in September, that site was the probable location for a couple reasons.

Our initial goal was to erect the permanent memorial somewhere on Main Street, where we felt it would be seen most easily and become a destination in the historic district. There are a limited number of appropriate locations in that corridor and we seemingly had reached the point of defaulting to the William Wilt Park location. But, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Those in attendance at the ceremony could view the renderings of the proposed permanent memorial, and it is beautiful and well thought out, with meaning connected to the position of each artifact. There was a lot of discussion after the ceremony and I recall one interaction with two residents about the permanent location for the memorial. I’m understating the zeal with which these two wonderful female residents (you know who you are) expressed their opinion. They preferred a Main Street location.

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Considering the yearend deadline we faced for a final decision, I asked our administrative leadership to circle back to our preferred Main Street sites one last time. Guess what? What seemed improbable became possible. We now have a verbal agreement to move forward with the site that topped our list. I am very pleased to say at our last meeting, township committee voted to authorize consummating the deal to purchase a portion of the property at the corner of Main Street and Church Street from the Mullica Hill Baptist Church. This will serve as the perfect location for our permanent 9/11 Memorial in Mullica Hill.

I want to thank the leadership of the church for working through the details and I know the end result will be mutually beneficial to the congregation and the community. I thank Mark Gravinese, township administrator, for his patience and persistence. I thank my two friends from the ceremony at William Wilt Park, who harangued me just enough that night about the preference for a Main Street location, proving once again nothing is over until it’s over. Thus endeth the lesson.


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