Metro-East News

Belleville to host 9/11 remembrance ceremony

The City of Belleville will host its fifth annual 9/11 Moment of Remembrance Ceremony on Friday at the future site of a memorial that will include a 7,100-pound steel column from the World Trade Center.

Fourteen years after the terrorist attack, Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert, police and fire personnel, an honor guard and a brass ensemble will gather from 11:30 a.m. to noon at Firehouse No. 4, 1125 S. Illinois St. in Belleville, to pay tribute to those who lost their lives.

The event is open to the public.

The location will be the site of the September 11 Memorial Walkway of Southern Illinois. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in March 2014 for the memorial, but Sharon Strausbaugh, chair of the committee responsible for the memorial, said construction has not yet started. She said the goal is to have the memorial standing by September 2016 for the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

Of the $250,000 goal for the project, Strausbaugh said the committee has raised about $100,000 so far.

“The only thing standing between the plans that we have and the final construction is the money,” she said.

Strausbaugh said Belleville’s memorial will differ from others like it because it will “incorporate all of the aspects of that day.”

It will be an educational timeline, Strausbaugh said, telling the story of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93.

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