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5 Awesome Facts About The 9/11 Memorial In Lafayette

Every year on September 11th, the nation as a whole comes together to remember those who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks in 2001. It's the 21 century version of Pearl Harbor, and will never be forgotten. In a corner of Parc Sans Souci is a poignant memorial to that day. Two beams rising from a marble base. But there's more to the story on this memorial. There was plenty of meaningful, although sometimes overlooked, design elements that come together to create this inspiring piece. Here are 5 facts regarding the memorial that you may not be aware of, but can surely appreciate.


The Beams

Acquired from remnants of the World Trade Center



It wasn't easy, but Lafayette Consolidated Government under the helm of then City-Parish President Walter Comeaux managed to obtain two beams, one from each building in New York, to use in the memorial.

Initially, the beams couldn't be released as they were evidence in the ongoing investigation. Once the beams were released, Lafayette had just 10 days to pick them up, which required arrangements with trucking companies and resulted in the delivery of the beams on May 29, 2012.

The beams are 13.5 feet long, and are oriented in the same direction as the original towers. Each beam has a plaque notating the time each tower was struck by planes.



The Base

Shaped in the design of a pentagon



For the base of the monument, it was decided that the shape would mirror the design of the Pentagon, which was attacked by terrorists using Flight 77 as the weapon.

Once again, the base would be oriented in the same direction as the original Pentagon, taking special care to make sure the north-west face of the base was oriented properly.



The Bench

Surrounding the memorial, a hidden secret in plain sight



Surrounding the memorial is a limestone bench mirroring the layout of the interior pentagon base. What's interesting to note about the bench is that the limestone panels used to create the bench come directly from the Pentagon building in Washington D.C.

If you look closely at the north-west corner of the bench, you'll see it has been defaced. This was intentionally done, to commemorate where the Pentagon was hit on September 11th.



The Garden

Designed with some special soil



Another feature that's often overlooked is the quaint garden surrounding the memorial. It looks like an average garden until you find out what makes it so different. The dirt used to create the garden is mixed with soil from a field in Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 was forced down, preventing even more casualties on the ground. Also mixed in the dirt are pieces of marble from the Pentagon building.



Size Matters

There’s subtlety behind the proportions



The designers and architects who constructed the monument did whatever they could to make as many meaningful moments in the design. The size of the design is intentional as well. The base is actually a scale size of the actual Pentagon, but in a 1:100 ratio.

The beams are also in a 1:100 ratio, with the beams being 13.5 feet long, and the towers originally standing at a little over 1,350 feet over the New York skyline.


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