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Griswold middle school students create 9/11 memorial

New London

JEWETT CITY, Conn. (WTNH) — They weren’t even born when 9/11 happened, but some sixth and seventh-graders have created a memorial which will allow generations to remember.

“When we were sitting here before, we were just sitting like, ‘We did it guys,'” said Griswold 7th-grader Olivia Freyer. “Like all our hard work for three years just got put into here.'”

The students were in an enrichment program at Griswold Elementary School where they were able to design the memorial, work with the school board and town, and raise $20,000 to pay for it.

“They are representing the twin towers,” explained Freyer who showed News 8 the two black columns at the center of the memorial. “And in the middle of those we have the Pentagon.”

Surrounding the black granite memorial are four benches.

Three gray granite benches represent the planes which hit the buildings while the black one represents the flight which went down in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

“We just thought that that would be a good thing to put a different color because it shows it didn’t hit a building but it was still part of the 9/11 attacks,” said Freyer.

She has relatives who were on the plane which hit the north tower of the World Trade Center.

“We have our flag pole here just to represent how we all came together on that day,” said Freyer.

“Somebody attacked our country and it made me feel upset but mad at the same time,” said Griswold 7th-grader Joe Franklin. 

Franklin’s cousin worked for the New York City Highway Department and donated a piece of steel he got while cleaning up ground zero.

“It’s very meaningful because we looked — myself and a couple of other students looked for probably about a year for steel and we found nothing,” said Franklin. 

While the students built the memorial to remember 9/11, the back of it also allows people to recognize those who had it built and those who helped them.

The names of all eleven enrichment program students are listed along with faculty members and other students who helped.

The Public Works Department built the memorial which can be seen from all three Griswold schools.

“We just wanted to put down some pavers they did it a lot better than we had planned,” said Franklin.

It has become a labor of love inspired by those who were lost.

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