A piece of the World Trade Center now resides in West Islip.
On Saturday, the West Islip 911 Memorial was officially unveiled. At the center piece of the memorial, which sits at the corner of Higbie Lane and Udall Road, is a two-ton boulder that houses a piece of steal beam from the fallen World Trade Center with the words “Lest We Forget” engraved on the stone.
The ceremony, held under gray skies accompanied by a light drizzle, was mixed with sadness and patriotism as the terror attacks of Sept. 11 on New York and Washington were remembered.
“This generation knows exactly where they were on that day,” said Diane Fontana, president of the West Islip Chamber of Commerce, referring to the morning of Sept. 11. “(The memorial) is a piece of history that we dedicated to you.”
In addressing a crowd of about 100 local residents who gathered on the ceremony, Fontana praised the efforts of Arnold and Diane Merkitch in securing the piece of beam and driving the effort to establish the West Islip 911 Memorial.
“The section of beam we have here was witness to the murders of (thousands) at the World Trade Center,” Arnold Merkitch said.
Local residents wishing to provide financial support the West Islip memorial may purchase a brick through the Chamber of Commerce. In addition, platinum, gold, and silver levels of sponsorships are also available.