On September 11, 2001, Troy Neubrecker was only four years old. What he remembers of that day is very little as for someone that young to understand what happened that day is near impossible.
“I remember my parents telling me, that’s about it,” Neubrecker said.
11 years later and with a much greater appreciation of the tragedy that comes with growing up and maturity, the young 15 year old from Wrentham stood in front of Town Hall to unveil the 9/11 Memorial that he fundraised over $22,000 for.
It has been an interesting year for Neubecker, who took on the task of funding a creating the 9/11 Memorial after Wrentham Selectman Joe Botaish mentioned the idea to him months earlier. Seeing the need to plain and develop a project that impacts his community to obtain his Eagle Scout ranking, the memorial seemed like an excellent, if not challenging project to take on.
As Neubrecker sat next to the podium during the program at Town Hall last night, speaker after speaker went to the microphone to congratulate the scout and to give their own thoughts and reflections on what happened back in 2001.
Diane Marshall lost her sister, Judith Larocque when her plane destined for Los Angelas crashed into the World Trade Center (WTC). She spoke with pride knowing that there will always be something in Wrentham to remind its residents on what happened on that faithful day.
“This memorial in our town of Wrentham will help future generations to remember this horrific event,” Marshall said. “Jenny was my sister. She had an infectious smile and upbeat attitude. She was strong and courageous, and she would be very honored to be part of this memorial. Wrentham will show that it is important to never forget for generations to come.”
When Fire Chief Jay McMorrow told the story of his failed attempted to get a piece of steel from the WTC for the memorial due to a lack of pieces available, he talked about how the setback could not stop Neubecker and his troop from completing this project.
“Tonight we have the privilege of accepting the hard work of a young man who did remember,” McMorrow said.
In his speech, Police Chief James Anderson recalled what happened as he watched the day play out.
“I watched in horror as the tragic events unfolded. As the first plane hit the World Trade Center, I thought, ‘what an awful accident.’ Moments later when I saw a second plane hit the second town, I realized, our country was under attack,” Anderson said. “Since that day, our lives as Americans have forever been changed. We remember the people who went to work that day and the brave souls that went in to save them. One of the worst tragedies in American history saw some of the bravest acts in its aftermath."
Anderson went on to praise the actions of those who sacrifice from those in the armed services to police and firefighters.
“This 9/11 Memorial will stand for the courage shown and sacrifice made by public safety officials and the many lives that they saved. The legacy of the bravery and selflessness will always inspire America,” Anderson said.
In his remarks, Botaish praised Neubrecker for his ability to bring so many people together for one project.
“On September 11, 2012 we are witnessing one man’s vision of an event in time. An event that took place when he was just four years old. A vision that took planning, great dedication and a collaborative effort of friends, family, and this great community,” Botaish said.
In addition to his remarks, State Senator Richard Ross presented Neubrecker with an official citation from the Massachusetts Senate recognizing Neubrecker for his dedication to the project and the community.
"Troy has provided the town of Wrentham with an extremely moving memorial and monument where the community can come and reflect and remember the victims tragedy lost,” Ross said.
With a speech ready to go, the wife of Senator Scott Brown and former WCVB reporter Gail Huff threw it to the side as she preferred to speak from the heart.
Calling Wrentham a tiny town with a huge heart, Huff presented Neubrecker with an American flag flown over the US Capitol as a reminder of the dedication ceremony.
As Neubrecker unveiled the monument, the design left some speechless including fellow scout and the evening's M.C. Daniel White who was at a lost of words shortly after seeing the memorial for the first time ever.
With a salute from the American Legion Honor Guard and a performance of Taps from Nathan Perry helping bring the program to an end along with a closing prayer from Father Bob Edmunds of the Trinity Church, the packed crowed on the front lawn of Town Hall rushed up to the monument to take their own photos and congratulate Neubrecker. For those in envy of other towns with their own 9/11 Memorials, Wrentham now has one to call their own that will stand in front of Town Hall for all to see.