Memorial Story

The fallen


Email Us

The artifact is 9,000 pounds of concrete from a subterranean "slurry wall" that prevented the Hudson River from flooding Ground Zero after the twin towers were taken down by airborne terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, killing more than 2,600 people in New York City. It is being purchased by a group known as Utah's Fallen Warrior Memorial, which organized the tour to help raise the $150,000 to buy the piece. Group Executive Director Raette Bloomfield Belcher also worked with the Fort Douglas Military Museum to place the memorial permanently at the Salt Lake City base, near a monument the museum is planning to honor women in the service. "You get goose bumps thinking about these being from the World Trade Center," said Belcher, owner of Southwest Indian Traders in Park City. She took on this project after listening at a luncheon to "Gold Star Mothers" who had lost sons in combat since the Gulf War in 1990-91. "It was heartbreaking to hear them talk of their sons' lives and what they planned to do after their military service," she said, "and of their grandchildren who would be raised without a dad." So Belcher set out to do something about it. She learned that 11 slabs of concrete had been excavated from the slurry wall the number picked to match the memorable date and made arrangements to buy one for $180,000. Her husband's company, Mountain Crane Service of Riverton, volunteered to bring the block back to Utah. The cross-country drive elicited strong reactions along the way. "Everyone wanted to touch it," David Belcher said. "It's like a healing stone," his wife added. "You touch it and it brings you peace"