By Michelle Durham
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City officials gathered today along the banks of the Schuylkill River, underneath the Chestnut Street Bridge, to unveil a 9/11 memorial that pays tribute to all of the victims and heroes of that day, and in particular to three Philadelphians who lost their lives in the World Trade Center.
This memorial includes a piece of an I-beam from one of the towers that was demolished in the terrorist attacks, and deputy mayor Mike DiBerardinis directed the unveiling.
Fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers and deputy commissioner Kevin Bethel spoke, as did Mayor Michael Nutter.
“We cannot ever, ever, ever forget that day and what’s happened in the days after,” the mayor said.
Also striking by his presence was an unidentified US Marine who came of his own accord to the event in full dress uniform (at far right in photo below).
Nutter went on to acknowledge him and the first responders present, and reminded everyone to say “thank you” to those who serve.
“Nine-eleven may have changed the world,” the mayor said, “but we can never allow 9/11 to change the United States of America and what we stand for and who we are as Americans.”
The three Philadelphians who lost their lives — Christopher Robert Clarke, Jasper Baxter, and Kevin Leah Bowser — are inscribed on the memorial, which was designed by Wells Appel Landscape Architects. It features the steel beam, symbolically crashing down on a reflective granite base while pointing toward Ground Zero in New York.