CASHMERE — Just in time for the annual ceremony, replica Twin Towers have arrived at Cashmere’s 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial.
The nearly 11-foot-high towers were installed Thursday, along with smaller monuments shaped like the Pentagon and the state of Pennsylvania. A stone from the field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where one plane crashed was also added.
A memorial service is held at 11 a.m. Sept. 11 each year at the plaza outside the Riverside Center, 201 Riverside Drive. The site also includes a piece of steel from the World Trade Center, a piece of limestone from the Pentagon and four bronze statues representing the victims.
“I think we’re going to have one of the more significant 9/11 memorials on the West Coast,” said Tom Green, board president for the local 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Foundation. “We get comments all the time about how much this moves people anyway, which is really what keeps me going.”
Cashmere competed with several other communities in the state, including Wenatchee, to build the memorial, which was dedicated in 2015. This is the second and final phase planned, though a kiosk may be added later.
The names of people killed at each site — 2,977 total — are engraved on the monuments, and a side of one of the Twin Towers is dedicated to first responders. The names of the flights, times and points of impact are also engraved.
Green said the total cost of the newly added pieces, including engravings, was about $47,000. The Port of Chelan County, Chelan County government and private donors contributed.
“It’s a combination of great excitement and great nervousness at the same time, just being in the middle of having to coordinate things,” Green said Thursday. “The concern they had last night was not having the right crane. ... For a while I wasn’t sure we would have the equipment out here this morning, but we did. Columbia Crane is incredible.”
Mick Lamar, Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue chief, is on the foundation board. He said a lot went into the second phase, so he’s glad to have it completed before this year’s ceremony.
“When most people think of Cashmere, they think Aplets & Cotlets and orchards,” he said. “Now that the 9/11 memorial is up, it’s amazing the people that contact us on Facebook and on our webpage that are international travelers and people who are just touring the country, saw the sign and pulled in.”
Lamar said he’s visited Ground Zero but appreciates having a local memorial.
“I’ve been a first responder for 40 years, and that was a big event that happened during my career and changed the path of my career,” he said. “So to have a place where I can go reflect and pay respects to the first responders, it’s a pretty cool deal.”
Monitor resident Jack Pusel has been involved with the project since the start. He’s been helping with maintenance and preparing the site for the second phase.
Pusel said he thought the memorial would go to a large city, park or airport.
“Never did I dream it would end up here,” he said. “We formed our committee here and we lobbied for it, and we were in the final three. ... We’re the center of the state, and we’re on the North Cascades Bypass. It was perfect for here because we’ve got the freeway out here heading to Seattle.”
Wiley Collins, of Cashmere, represents the American Legion on the board.
“People wonder why we’ve got it here,” he said. “It’s a small-town deal and people get behind stuff like this. A lot of why we got into it was the idea of educating the younger people coming up so this doesn’t just get forgotten about.”