Three residents of Scotch Plains lost their lives in the attacks. Matthew Horning and Jim Walsh perished in the World Trade Center in New York City, while Mark Rothenberg was aboard when United Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.
With this in mind, the focal point of the monument is a steel beam from the World Trade Center, a Pentagon made out of Pennsylvania Bluestone and three Bluestone benches. These serve to memorialize the three citizens, along with the first responders, the firefighters, police and EMS personnel. In all, two tons of Bluestone were used for the project.
Eastern Marble & Granite Supply, Inc. -- an international supplier of building stone products for nearly 50 years -- was asked, through company President Tom Donatelli to participate on the committee to help choose the stone that was used. The firm had participated in the construction or renovations of many of the monuments in Scotch Plains over the years.
"It is a fitting tribute to have used Pennsylvania bluestone -- in memory of flight 93 -- and have it fabricated in Upstate New York -- in memory of the World Trade Center victims," Donatelli explained. "The large Bluestone pentagon memorializes the victims in Washington, DC."
The monument was funded completely by donations from the citizens of Scotch Plains and many of the surrounding communities. Many of the materials used were donated, along with the time and labor for installation.
In addition to the Bluestone, the project uses nearly 5,000 pieces of assorted types of Techo Bloc, all of which was donated by Bartell's Lawn and Garden Center in Clark, NJ.
The conceptual design was created by Ernie Hernandez, a Scotch Plains Police Officer. The contractors were Eastern Marble & Granite Supply of Scotch Plains (Tom Donatelli) and American Architectural Stone of North Plainfield, NJ (John Donatelli), along with Scotch Plains Township. The mason contractor was Ralph Checchio Paving and Masonry of Scotch Plains, and the Bluestone fabricator was Tompkins Bluestone of Hancock, NY. Engraving of the Bluestone was performed by Signs, Etc. of Hancock, NY, and Plainfield Granite Works of Plainfield, NJ.