EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — A piece of history from the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City sits on the campus of South Arkansas Community College and that’s where many gathered today to pay their respects.
As the towers of the World Trade Center stand tall today, the image of what happened 19 years ago is still a fresh memory on many people’s minds.
Two planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Almost 3,000 lives were lost in those attacks but those in El Dorado not only get to remember part history but they get to see it for themselves.
“Four community leaders from El Dorado, in less than three days 10 years ago, we picked up the steel that’s sitting behind me and drove it back to its new home,” Chaplain for the El Dorado Fire Department, Sterling Claypool said.
A small crowd gathered to pay tribute around this Arkansas Memorial that sits on the campus of South Arkansas Community College.
The 699 pound steel is a piece of WTC Tower 1 that fell was destroyed into pieces as an American Airlines Flight crashed into the building.
“We asked for the biggest thing they could give us and this is what they gave us,” he said.
Over time the local community developed this full memorial. Etched in this marble stone are names of the four victims with Arkansas ties that died during the attacks and a timeline of the moments in our nation’s history that can’t be washedaway.
As a chaplain with the El Dorado Fire Department and Professor at South Arkansas Community College, Sterling Claypool says this public memorial will always stay in its place but he hopes those young and old will never forget its presence.
“Yes, this is a permanent memorial and it’s going to be here way passed me but this is something that is everyday and being vigilant is an everyday occurrence in keeping our freedom alive,” Claypool said.
To learn more about the components of the Arkansas Memorial visit this link.