Saturday marked 20 years since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. From Westport to the West Coast, ceremonies recalled that tragic day.
Here’s another 9/11 story. Though a couple of days old, it’s still timely.
A new memorial in Fairfield honors the nearly 3,000 victims killed, at 3 separate sites. It’s housed at historic Oak Lawn Cemetery & Arboretum — a 100-acre site where people have remembered loved ones for more than 150 years.
The new memorial — a pair of 9-foot granite towers atop a pentagon-shaped granite base, with a rock engraved with “Let’s Roll” that honors the heroes of Flight 93 — is impressive.
So are the trees along the walkway. A cemetery board member visited the 9/11 site in New York, gathered acorns, brought them to his home nursery and raised the trees.
It’s all the handiwork of Dean Powers — Oak Lawn’s longtime groundskeeper (and native Westporter).
Bronson Hawley called Powers “very, very dedicated (and) hardworking.” The cemetery board member told News12 Connecticut: “He worked here literally 7 days a week. He saw this site and he said, ‘boy this is great and I’d like to do something to memorialize the victims,'” says Hawley.
Powers never saw the finished work. He died of cancer in June last year. He was 69.
“Dean started designing maybe 3 years ago. He literally worked on those designs until the day he died. It was just amazing,” says Hawley.
Powers prepped the site, cleared it, planted bushes and moved trees. He even stood in the pouring rain, to watch how water flowed there.
Powers gave another gift too: His estate is paying for the cost of the memorial.
Previously, he paid for the granite. He had selected it himself, from a Vermont quarry.
A dedication ceremony this week will feature Jed Glick. He’s the brother of one of the men who rushed the cockpit of Flight 93. They prevented the hijacked plane from crashing into the US Capitol.
“Powers” is a common name. But it’s special in Westport. Dean Powers’ grandfather is the namesake of Powers Court, the official address of the Westport Country Playhouse.
His mother Eunice taught in Westport schools for many years, and played piano at the Unitarian Church.
His family did not seek fame or fortune. Instead they found satisfaction in doing their absolute best, all the time. They worked hard, and took no shortcuts.
Just like the heroes of Flight 93 — and so many others — now honored, thanks to Dean Powers, at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Fairfield.
(For the full News12 story, click here.)