SHREWSBURY – Under a bright blue sky, recent graduates of Assabet Valley Technical High School gifted the Shrewsbury Police Department a memorial built with steel from the World Trade Center.
The memorial, which will be incorporated into Shrewsbury’s new police station, honors those who lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks.
The Assabet students gathered in front of the new police station on Sept. 10.
“None of us were alive yet when the attack happened, so this a good way to give back to the people and understand what they went through,” said Assabet graduate Ben Kelley.
How 9/11 memorial came to be
Shrewsbury Police Chief Kevin Anderson previously told the Community Advocate that as plans for the new station took shape, he wanted to incorporate a 9/11 memorial.
Last fall, Anderson and Assistant Director of Public Works Keith Baldinger asked the students to weld a sculpture to be displayed as part of the new police station.
“It is very important for the Shrewsbury Police Department to honor those who rushed into danger to save innocent lives. It [the sculpture] was a great community project for us to work on. Assabet Valley did a wonderful job building this memorial,” Anderson said.
Retired Assabet Valley teacher and Navy Chief Neil Mansfield was able to secure a piece of steel cut from the rubble at Ground Zero thanks to a friend who is a retired fire chief from New York City.
Mansfield oversaw the project, but he noted that the final product is a result of the “100% interaction the students had with it.”
Students weigh in on their work
The Assabet students completed the sculpture prior to their graduation last school year, and it was escorted to the police station in the spring.
The Assabet grads reflected on their work to make the sculpture come to life.
Kelley cut the metal of the two beams of the sculpture. Joel Carey welded the metal to scrape the rust off and also welded the beams to support the metal that is on the front of the sculpture.
“It wasn’t just me, it was the entire crew. We all played a big part in this project. To be able to be a part of something that is going to be there forever is fulfilling,” Carey said.