Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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Graham, NC 27253
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New 9/11 memorial dedicated in Graham

Story and photo collage

A memorial to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the U.S. was dedicated Saturday in downtown Graham.

Chuck and Jennifer Talley bought a piece of steel from the World Trade Center debris several years ago at an auction, she explained during remarks at the dedication, with a long-term plan to use it as part of a future memorial to the 3,000 victims who died on September 11, 2001 and to the first responders who were willing to sacrifice their lives to save others.

The monument was designed by David Nance, a local sculptor and artist, and was assembled Friday by Cameron Maricle and Jamaal Williamson of CM Mobile Welding, with assistance from Jay Talley.

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The memorial is located on the southeast corner of Court Square, beside the Whit’s Frozen Custard store at 21 S.E. Court Square.

Among those speaking during the noon ceremony were: Graham fire chief Tommy Cole; Graham police chief Kristy Cole; county commissioner Craig Turner, himself a Navy flyer who described where he was in 2001; Graham planning board member Bobby Chin, a retired Army colonel, who represented the local Alamance County veterans group ALCOVETS; and sheriff’s lieutenant Craig Stephens.

Ret. Army Colonel Bobby Chin, secretary of the local Alamance County veterans group, ALCOVETS.
Alamance County commissioner Craig Turner.
Alamance County sheriff’s lieutenant Craig Stephens.
Graham city council member Jennifer Talley, who with her husband Chuck bought the steel beam at the center of the memorial.

Others in attendance included state representatives Dennis Riddell and Ricky Hurtado; district court judge Rick Champion; Burlington fire chief Jay Mebane; Graham city councilman Ricky Hall; Elon alderman Quinn Ray; and Mebane city councilman Sean Ewing.

The 13 flags on the top of the Soda Shop across East Elm Street from the site of the 9/11 memorial honored American military men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan during the final days of that war.
Graham police chief Kristy Cole, Alamance County district attorney Sean Boone, and Graham fire chief Tommy Cole.
Ringing the fire bell.
Alamance County sheriff Terry Johnson with former ACC trustee and Vietnam veteran Dick Fisher.
Sheriff Terry Johnson and Graham fire chief Tommy Cole.
State representatives Dennis Riddell and Ricky Hurtado.
Members of the local VFW post gathered for a group photo after the ceremony.

About 150 people attended the dedication, which included the unveiling of the memorial, fire bell rings (three sets of five chimes each), and the placement of 13 flags across the top of the building across the street in memory of American service men and women who died during the last days of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

A giant U.S. flag draped the courthouse and another was hung high from a fire truck in front of the gathered group.

A common theme of speakers was the unity which emerged from the tragedy of the attacks, as well as a commitment “never to forget” both the tragedy and heroism of that fateful day.

See photos of the preparations from the day before:

See information on other local events scheduled for Saturday, September 11, 2021:

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