Visit the Eagles Rising memorial to pay homage to fallen heroes this 9/11
As we approach the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, it’s natural to remember the friends, family, and heroes lost that day. However, it’s also important to appreciate our capacity to transform grief into meaning. The terrorist attacks were intended to instill fear and demoralize Americans, but today, more than two decades later, we remember the heroism, selflessness, inspiration, and cooperation that emerged from that dark day. Rather than succumbing to fear, Americans and our allies worldwide immediately took action, searching for survivors, supporting victims and their families, and finding ways to pave a meaningful path forward.
Among those who responded to the call for action was Louis Pabon, a graduate of Fulton-Montgomery Community College (FMCC), who participated in the cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center site. While working on the site, Pabon secured one of the largest artifacts from the north tower and brought it to FM’s Perrella Sculpture Garden, where it now stands as a symbol of recovery for all who visit.
Once a part of the communications mast, this iconic metal structure continues to communicate, albeit in a different manner than before. Today, standing at a height of 33 feet, it embodies the resilience of the American spirit in the face of hardship and serves as a poignant commemoration of a moment that sent ripples of change throughout the world. Every 9/11, the structure’s shadow gracefully touches two white pillars, symbolizing the fallen towers, at the exact moments when those buildings and the people within them met their tragic fate.
This structure is more than a memorial; it is a work of art. Sculptor and metal worker Howard Brott Sr. masterfully transformed the mangled bottom portion of the antenna into a sculpture known as Eagles Rising. Its fluid and sculptural form evokes the image of a phoenix, a mythical bird capable of rising from the ashes of its own destruction.
In a 2015 interview, Director Joel Chapin described the piece, stating,
“The artifact is unlike any other from the World Trade Center… It almost resembles something that was once alive, like a spine. It was at the pinnacle of that building, and yet it survived the fall.”
Art serves as a powerful tool for overcoming challenges and finding meaning in our losses. It provides an outlet for grief, anger, and frustration. Artists and visionaries like Pabon, Chapin, and Brott teach us how to transform tragedy into meaningful experiences. This upcoming 9/11, we invite you to witness for yourself how your generous contributions have transformed a relic of community grief into an artwork that eloquently expresses our ability to rise above adversity.