This evening, candles will burn softly as Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn leads the town’s annual service that honors the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The event, which also will celebrate America, starts at 7 p.m. next to the town’s 9/11 Memorial Monument. It is situated between the Franklin W. Chase Memorial Library and Windermere Town Hall, 520 Main St.
Also, from 1-3 p.m. this afternoon, the Golden Pond Communities assisted living facility, 402 Lakeview Road, Winter Garden, will host a chicken-wing cookout to honor local paramedics, police officers and firefighters.
“We wanted to honor our heroes who help our residents (at Golden Pond) and let them know how much they are appreciated,” said Allison Dion, the facility’s executive director.
The monument in Windermere features a 650-lb., scarred section of a steel beam that was salvaged from the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York. Colorful, glazed tiles top a border that encircles the base of the memorial.
This striking monument was the 2009 Eagle Scout Leadership Service project of Jeff Cox, who was a member of Boy Scout Troop 6. With the support of Bruhn, the then 15-year-old Cox wrote a letter to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, requesting a piece of the World Trade Center for the memorial project.
Bruhn said a judge took seven months to approve the donation of the steel beam section, which at one time was considered crime-scene evidence. The beam includes more than a dozen protruding bolts, many of which are bent at different angles.
In addition to other tasks to create the monument, Cox and his fellow scouts painted the tiles on its border. Many of the tiles honor the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and those who died in the crash of flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
There also are tiles that specifically honor the 60 New York Police Department officers and 343 members of the Fire Department of New York who perished in the Trade Center attack.
Cox’s project to create the 9/11 Memorial Monument took more than 2,000 hours to complete. It later was named the National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year.
A sign on the monument that is dated Feb. 20, 2010, shares words from the late Guy F. Tozzoli, former president of the World Trade Center Association, and Byron Sutton, CEO at World Trade Center Orlando: “The flagship of our global network of World Trade Centers, a shining symbol of vision and optimism, was reduced to rubble tragically within two hours.
“But World Trade Centers everywhere, including World Trade Center Orlando, responded with one voice. We must redouble our work to bring the world together through international commerce. It is the surest path to world peace.”