In Broomfield, Colo., north of Denver, I attended the unveiling of a 9/11 Memorial. It is the realization of a dream and a tribute to the dedication of the North Metro Fire and Rescue District. My brother Reynaldo Rivera, a sculptor from Albuquerque, N.M., was commissioned to transform their vision into powerful and emotional bronze images of the heroes of the tragedy that changed America forever.
Three monoliths of red Colorado sandstone frame the bas-relief of the Twin Towers of Light, the Pentagon and Flight 93. The names of those who died are listed on bronze tablets on the back of each one. A sculpture of three surviving civilians, one of an exhausted firefighter and one of a shocked child being comforted by a compassionate firefighter stand in the surround of the memorial.
I watched people search the list of names, gently touching familiar ones, leaving flags and flowers on the stone shelves at the bottom. Many talked tearfuly with my brother, often ending conversations with comforting embraces.
The memorial site is in a community park beside a tranquil lake across from the Mamie Eisenhower Library and near a ball park. Written by Rivera at the entry are the reasons the site was chosen: 'While visiting the 9/11 Memorial grounds, listen for the sounds that pass throughout the site. Whether it is the peaceful rustling of wind moving through the small grove of trees or the cheers at the adjacent ballparks, this place of reflection serves to embrace all that enter it. The peaceful beauty of nature and sounds of joy captures here create a sacred place to honor those who lost their lives, but live on in the memory of us all.'
Laush, a Lake Oswego resident, is a member of the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.