9/11 memorial sculpture debuts at city airport

By The Mercury

Officials at the Manhattan Regional Airport unveiled a new 9/11 memorial in the terminal Thursday. The memorial is one of seven in Kansas.

“Personally, it’s an artifact, a memorial, that I’m very pleased to have in our airport terminal,” Peter Van Kuren, airport director, said.

Van Kuren said the memorial came about as a project initiated by the regional branch of the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA). The agency came up with the idea of recovering an object from ground zero to serve as a memorial.

The TSA was able to recover an I-beam from one of the towers. Van Kuren said the agency found a Kansas artist who came up with a design that sectioned off the I-beam into seven pieces, one for each commercial airport in the state.

Van Kuren said the memorial speaks to the dedication and hard work of TSA officials in the last decade.

“It also acts as a reminder to all of us of the events of 9/11,” Van Kuren said. “It helps us to remember those who lost their lives on that day in 2001.”

Van Kuren said he encourages travelers, and even non-travelers in town, to see and touch the memorial.

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