Piece of 9/11 memorial in limbo in Indianapolis

Jeremy Brilliant, WTHR

INDIANAPOLIS – A piece of Indiana limestone, damaged in the attack on the Pentagon on September, 11, 2001, remains in an Indianapolis storage facility, out of sight by the public due to red tape and lack of funds.

An 800-pound block of limestone from the Pentagon. Photo WTHR

An 800-pound block of limestone from the Pentagon. Photo WTHR

Pausing and reflecting, Barbara Crawford brought her grandsons to the Indianapolis 9/11 memorial on the canal downtown, trying to explain to them what happened on September 11, 2001.

“We tried, yeah. It’s kind of hard to wrap their brains around it, what really happened, that airplanes full of people would go into buildings,” said Crawford, an Indianapolis native.

The steel beams at the memorial are remnants of the Twin Towers in New York City. And now, 14 years later, Indianapolis has another piece of history.

“It came from that last [sic] plane that hit the Pentagon,” said Jerry Bowden, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, who helped bring the piece to Indiana, pointing to the stone.

That 800-pound chunk of Indiana limestone is destined for a spot on the downtown memorial – eventually.

“It’s personal to a lot of us. Especially to the people that know Tim,” said Bowden.

Lt. Gen. Timothy Maude was in his office on 9/11 when American Airlines Flight 77 came crashing in. He was the highest ranking U.S Army officer killed by foreign action since World War II.

Lt. General Timothy Maude, the highest ranking military officer killed in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Photo WTHR

Lt. General Timothy Maude, the highest ranking military officer killed in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Photo WTH

Maude, an Indianapolis native, was honored last year and that piece of limestone unveiled as part of the downtown memorial. But since then, nearly a year ago, it’s been sitting crated up inside a storage shed.

“We want to get this done. It’s gone on long enough,” said Bowden.

Bureaucracy and lack of funds have impeded progress. Questions have been raised about exactly how the piece should be displayed and where the money needed for construction and a pedestal will come from.

“I’m very optimistic that we’ve got the direction established and all those pieces are starting to fit together,” said Keith Norwalk, president of Crown Hill Cemetery, a key contributor and organizer of Project 9/11, which built and maintains Indianapolis’ 9/11 memorial.

Jerry has a single hope for September 11, 2015.

“That it’s done and we all can lay hands on the stone in place. That’s what I’d like to see,” he said.

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