GRISWOLD, CT (WFSB) -- Sept. 11, 2001 will never be forgotten by students and faculty in Griswold.

They’ve spent years designing, raising funds, and building their own memorial for those who lost their lives 18 years ago.

“From the beginning we didn’t know if it was really possible, but seeing it here right now is really inspiring, wow we actually did it,” said Sydney Churchill, a 7th grade students.

The twin towers, the Pentagon, and the doomed airliner that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania 18 years ago are represented.

In the memorial, United Airlines flight 93 is black because the passengers took matters into their own hands.

“Each bench has a flight number on it from the planes that crashed into the buildings or the one over there that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania,” said Olivia Riley, a 7th grade student.

After the students took a field trip to ground zero, they were inspired.

“Some students had connections to 9/11, so the knowledge of talking about it and researching a little bit more about it, researching the flights and all the incidentals,” said Griswold teacher Mary Ellen Giard.

A piece of metal on the memorial was donated by 7th grader Joe Franklin’s cousin who helped clean up the World Trade Center site.

“He said he had it sitting around in his basement and he had nothing to do with it, so he gave it to us,” Franklin said.

“I just want the kids to understand what happened before they were born and keep the memory of all the heroes who died that day in the mind of everybody,” said 4th grade teacher Russell Salvador.

The students worked as a team, and designing the memorial was a collaboration.

“We picked out two students designs and because they really stood out for everyone, and we mixed those together and made this memorial,” said student Justin Cohoon.

The community of Griswold already had their memorial service for 9/11 during the dedication last Saturday.

On Wednesday, the actual date, they’ll go out to the memorial and reflect.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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