Grassroots Effort: September 11 Groundbreaking at Cos Cob Park

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It’s been years in the making, but if Fred Durante is accurate in his ETA, the September 11 Memorial Greenwich will be complete in 75 days.

On Tuesday, there was a groundbreaking ceremony in Cos Cob Park. The location, on a knoll overlooking Cos Cob Harbor, affords a spectacular view, and is the perfect perch to mourn, reflect and even smile.

Jimmy Ritman, President of the Board of the September 11 Memorial Greenwich, pointed out that the effort was many years in the making. He thanked Mr. Durante whose landscaping firm had been involved for several years. For his part, Mr. Durante said the project was not a job, but an honor.

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Mr. Ritman also thanked others involved including Demi Wasilko Ferraris and the families who had lost loved ones in 911. He described the effort as “grassroots” and the memorial as “a gift from the Town to the Town.”

“We received over 1,000 donations from individuals, companies and schools in Town, including fundraisers as small as collecting dollar bills on Greenwich Ave,” Ritman said.

Cos Cob park location of the September 11 memorial in Greenwich

The Cos Cob park location of the September 11 memorial in Greenwich. Credit: Leslie Yager

Mr. Ritman mentioned the late Dave Theis in particular. “Dave was a tremendous supporter. He was at all of our events and we are very sorry he can’t be with us today.  I know he is smiling down on us and wearing the Sept 11th pin that he wore every day.”

Mr. Ritman said he  hoped local schools would arrange classroom visits to the memorial, and teachers would teach about September 11. “It’s important that this memorial will serve as a symbol so no one will ever forget,” he said.

September 11 Memorial Groundbreaking

Left to right: Wells Noonan, Demi Wasilko Ferraris (Cousin of Teddy Maloney), Sally Maloney Duval (Sister of Teddy Maloney), Fred Durante (Contractor), Jimmy Ritman (President of the Board), Chuck Hilton (Architect) and Peter Tesei (First Selectman). Credit: Leslie Yager


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