As published on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012 in the Midland Park Suburban News.
The memorial garden when still a work in progress. The steel beam that will anchor the site.
This is no ordinary piece of construction material, but a tangible reminder of the tragedy that occurred on 9/11.
The 2,800- pound steel beam, a remnant of the World Trade Center, will be unveiled during a dedication ceremony for the new borough’s 9/11 Memorial Garden at 2 p.m. Oct. 14.
The fire department acquired the beam in May 2011 and began raising funds to build the garden.
"We raised about $8,000 in monetary contributions but could not have completed this project without the generous support of all the area businesses that helped make this $50,000 memorial garden possible," Fire Chief Mark Berninger Sr. said.
Over 26 businesses donated materials, manpower, machinery and expertise to create the garden on the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Witte Drive.
Jacobsen Landscape Design and Construction, the fire house’s next-door neighbor, worked with members of the fire department to design the garden and coordinate the multitude of volunteers.
"I am proud to help the community with this project and grateful to all the contractors that came together and worked together for a common cause," said Glenn Jacobsen, owner of Jacobsen Landscaping.
According to Jacobsen’s landscape designer Mark Milidantri, the new garden will incorporate the original memorial monument that honors the fallen Midland Park firefighters with the steel beam as its centerpiece.
"The beam will be installed in a paved circle that measures 9 feet, 11 inches in diameter and will be angled onto a base so that it is aimed towards the original site of the World Trade Center," Milidantri said. "The structure will also measure 9 feet, 11 inches in a tribute to date."
Benches will be positioned on the outskirts of the circle to provide a place for personal reflection.
Three memorial trees honoring fallen Midland Park firefighters surround the new garden.
"We were able to practice sustainable landscaping by using some of the original plants and have installed LED lighting," said Milidantri.
Seasonal plantings also will complement perennial flowers.
The 9/11 Memorial Garden is barrier-free, accessible via a ramp on Greenwood Avenue.
"We are finalizing the program for the Oct. 14 ceremony, but it will include a local vocalist singing patriotic music and a bagpiper performance," Berninger said.