Bright sunshine illuminated an American flag that remained at half-staff Tuesday when Town of Tonawanda leaders emotionally pledged allegiance during the dedication of a new flagpole and garden at Englewood and Kenmore avenues.
In the same hour that the World Trade Center towers collapsed only a week before, town officials, community organizations and Tonawanda citizens declared the new "Point Garden" a memorial to "forever remember" the more than 5,000 dead or missing victims of the attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.
"This project has become a symbol of our working together. Today, it's made a symbol of our friends and fellow Americans who are experiencing profound grief. This memorial garden will forever be in memory of those victims," said George B. Melrose, chairman of the town Environmental Commission.
The garden, which has been a year in the making, is patterned after a similar-type garden at Delaware Avenue and Brighton Road. It is designed to "uplift the neighborhood and welcome visitors," officials said.
"All of us know where we were when the tragic events in New York City and Washington, D.C., occurred at this time one week ago. We are proud to dedicate this garden as a remembrance to those who have given their lives as a result of this cowardly act of war," said Supervisor Ronald H. Moline.
The garden, which adorns the formerly concrete corner, consists of a bricked-in planter with a variety of flowers, a bench, tree, town welcome sign, Victorian-style lamp and the American flagpole.
A plaque recognizing the efforts of the Kenmore Garden Club, Kenmore Rotary clubs, Adelphia Communications, and property owners John and Lisa Paschen in establishing the park was placed at the site.
Another plaque, honoring the victims of the tragedy, is being manufactured and will be placed at the site when it is received by the town, officials said.
"This Point Garden will take on a much greater significance, that of being dedicated to the memory of all the victims of last Tuesday's horrific tragedy," said Town Highway Superintendent John Hedges.
"We must come together to support our leaders in the pursuit of the terrorists responsible for this tragedy and pledge to never forget the lives who paid the ultimate price for freedom," he said.