Local man works over a decade to create a 9/11 memorial in Tallahassee

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Posted at 5:02 PM, Sep 11, 2023
  • Tallahassee dedicated a memorial to those killed on 9/11 22 years after that day.
  • Local man Michael Terhune has been working on the memorial for 14 years.
  • The memorial features a piece of steel that was a part of the south tower of the World Trade Center.

A memorial over a decade in the making was dedicated to honor the lives lost during the attacks on September 11, 2001.

One man has been working to honor those lost on that day 22 years ago.

Michael Terhune spent most of his life working as a firefighter and serving in the Navy.

"Once you step away, you spend a lifetime of serving and it's like what do you do when you step away, you have that drive to keep serving," Terhune said.

His service now: curating a 9/11 memorial at the American Red Cross to honor the 2,997 people lost 22 years ago.

The centerpiece of the memorial, a steel beam that was a part of the south tower at the World Trade Center.

Terhune got that 14 years ago. He found a permanent place for it at the American Red Cross.
Executive Director Sharon Carraway said they were happy to help.

"In 2019, Michael Terhune was on his way to take his daughter to soccer practice at Tom Brown Park," Carraway said. "He'd been trying of years to find a location for his memorial, unsuccessfully up until that point, and he saw Red Cross and said 'hmmm, I'll try the Red Cross' and he did."

A location that Terhune said is perfect to remember 9/11.

"It definitely has because of the amount of traffic and the location of the red cross, the fire department, EMS and everything, it's the perfect location," Terhune said.

Matt and Tatiana Morris came to the memorial Monday after hearing about it in passing.

"Overheard some guys talking about it and were like wow that sounds really special and this guy was talking about how beautiful it was and it was like you know, I have got to go see that, " Morris said.

They brought their son Mark to the memorial to pay their respects.

"I think it's really important to honor the moms and dads and everybody that fought in the fire," Morris said. "They were human beings just doing their best to have this lifetime and I think it's really important to bring remembrance to these people that had important jobs, important lives."

Something Terhune said is the goal of the memorial.

"Hopefully it will be a long-lasting educational experience plus memorial piece for Leon County and Tallahassee," Terhune said.

Terhune hopes this will continue to be the place to honor those lost during 9/11 not just on the anniversary, but every day.