By Brad Davis ABC
MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. – “A feeling of sadness,” said Pat Shontz as she surveyed the incomplete 9-11 memorial and feels the emotions.
Shontz is on a committee to oversee the building of the memorial in Causeway Park on Madeira Beach.
“It makes me sad. But I know how hard my committee has worked to get this where it is right now,” explained Shontz.
Where it is right now, is about 40-thousand dollars short of completion. A committee of citizens worked tirelessly to raise the funds needed to erect the memorial.
“We thought we were getting to be pretty hot stuff when we got up near $80,000. And we were thinking well, we’re getting well on to eighty thousand dollars. But, that wasn’t always the case,” said Shontz.
Donations are down to a trickle and work is at a standstill. Leaving an unfinished eyesore.
“It is actually,” said Leah Fiander, who’s visiting from Nova Scotia.
Bill Inselmann, who lives on Madeira Beach was more direct.
“It is depressing, you know; get it done already,” he said.
Both locals and tourists say a 9-11 memorial deserves the respect of being treated like those it is intending to honor. So does the City of Madeira Beach. Just this week, the city approved the money needed to complete the memorial.
“It wasn’t intentionally not finished. The best intentions was [sic] to have this thing done already. But again, services in-kind donaters and processes like that dried up and so the city had to say, ‘Hey, it’s time to budget some dollars and get this thing finished’,” explained City Manager Shane Crawford.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Fiander reacted when told of the city’s plans.
“I’m glad the city is coming around and going to get that done,” said Inselmann.
An 800-pound piece of steel from one of the World Trade Center towers will be the centerpiece of the memorial when it’s completed in next few months.
“How wonderful of the city to step in and help us get it finished. It’s just going to be a wonderful thing,” Shontz said.
A community coming together to honor those most deserving.