WEIRTON, W.Va. (WTRF) — Weirton’s salute to its veterans is filled with the artifacts of war.
Jets used in battle, an anchor from a ship, and even tanks remind us that all of us living in the 21st century are standing on the shoulders of giants.
But one of the most striking memorials is the bench made of the World Trade Center beams that fell on that awful day 20 years ago.
Strauss Industries bought the material from a demolition company shortly after the attacks, and then donated it to create the bench.
It was dedicated by Weirton Steel in a ceremony just eight months after 9/11.
Weirton Steel was good for this whole area really. They were a company that cared about people and the city.Gus Monezis, Board Member, Brooke-Hancock County Veterans Memorial Park
Park board member and longtime resident Gus Monezis says the city hasn’t forgotten the sacrifices of the past.
The September 11th memorial and the others at the park were built slowly over the years—and the park is now a centerpiece of Weirton.
He hopes the bench will help shape the future generation.
It means a lot to me because I’m old enough to remember World War II, and what it did for me growing up as a person, realizing how lucky we were.Gus Monezis, Board Member, Brooke-Hancock County Veterans Memorial Park
He wants the city’s younger residents to know the country we have now didn’t fall into place on its own.
It was only through centuries of pain, resilience and integrity from soldiers and everyday citizens that we have our security.
It’s an appreciation that he sees fading as the years go by.
The youth of today, unfortunately they don’t have that same fear, whatever you want to call it, honor. Just something that we all should honor and realize that these people want to do away with us. Those are the very same people we’re dealing with right now.Gus Monezis, Board Member, Brooke-Hancock County Veterans Memorial Park
Monezis says Americans of all ages should realize just how incredible their country truly is.
In 250 years, we’ve surpassed everybody in the world, that has to tell you something.Gus Monezis, Board Member, Brooke-Hancock County Veterans Memorial Park
As they stand in this small plot of land just off the highway—
The Twin Tower beams help us remember that it isn’t just our shared land that makes us Americans.
It’s the debt we share to those in our past who fought for our future.
Keeping honor is very important.Gus Monezis, Board Member, Brooke-Hancock County Veterans Memorial Park