Sunday, September 7, 2003

Cleveland suburb remembers 9-11

The Associated Press

EASTLAKE - Twisted steel beams from the World Trade Center are part of a Sept. 11 monument that still attracts visitors to this Cleveland suburb nearly two years after the terrorist attacks.

During the warmer months, visitors come on an almost daily basis, Mayor Dan DiLiberto said.

On weekends tour buses from Indiana, West Virginia and Pennsylvania sometimes visit the site.

"Most of the people out there are in tears. It's very solemn," DiLiberto said.

While the monument has become a source of pride for the city, other communities have had difficulty with their plans for Sept. 11 monuments as people's attentions have turned to other things.

A 45-foot tall steel monument was planned in Cortland, about 20 miles northeast of Youngstown, but the project had to be scaled back because of a lack of money.

A wooden monument will be built instead.

"People weren't as inspired as I thought they would be," said Gary Sarko, a businessman leading the effort.

Most residents were generous, pledging $25,000 for the monument, but some didn't like the idea.

"They wanted to forget about it rather than mark that moment in time," Sarko said. "They just wanted to get beyond it and get back to life as normal."

A Sept. 11 monument planned for a park in Chappaqua, N.Y., 35 miles northeast of Ground Zero, has received opposition from residents who want it put elsewhere in town.

Although Eastlake has no direct connection to the Sept. 11 attacks, DiLiberto said he wanted people in the Midwest to be able to feel the weight of the tragedy.

The monument includes steel from the World Trade Center, a piece of granite from the Pentagon and sod from Shanksville, Pa., where a plane hijacked by terrorists crashed.

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