October 2021

Monuments Students Participate in Sacred 9/11 Tribute to Fallen Port Authority Officers

Memorial Plaques Were Designed by a Monuments Alumnus and Manufactured in Monuments’ Progressive Education Department

Liz Blaha, LCPC, Director of Admissions and Outreach, Monuments


In honor of the 20th anniversary of the tragic September 11th terrorist attacks, Monuments Alum, JC, organized an exceptional service project to design, manufacture and present memorial plaques to the families of Port Authority Police Officers who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. The project came about while JC was on a home pass when a family friend, a member of the Port Authority, mentioned his desire to create a keepsake for families to commemorate the anniversary.  JC told him that the students at Monuments could help create something utilizing the equipment in their Progressive Education Digital Fabrication Lab.  JC explained, "I knew Monuments had the resources that could make this memorial gift possible. Since they helped me, I knew that Monuments and all the people there would want to help [with this project]."

JC created the design, an image of the Port Authority heroes running into the burning towers as others ran out with the Port Authority Shield, as well as the phrase "20th Anniversary: Never Forget." This design was engraved into a plaque that was also embedded with a piece of the steel taken from the fallen twin towers, which has been kept and preserved by the various rescue agencies that assisted that day: Fire Department, Police Department, Port Authority. Engraved on the steel was the name of the fallen officer. Last Month JC traveled back out to Monuments to help with the manufacturing of the plaques and to meet with current students.  There, he worked with the Progressive Education staff and Monuments students to manufacture 37 monuments of gratitude and honor for the families. 

On September 11, 2021, the memorial plaques were presented to the families of the fallen officers in an emotional ceremony. The day started with a tour of Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial.  After a private ferry ride, with a bagpipe tribute and flowers tossed into the Hudson by each of the families, the day concluded at Liberty State Park in a ballroom whose windows looked out on the site of the former Twin Towers where they received the keepsake in honor of their fallen family member.  

As the plaques were presented to the families, JC stated it was through many tears that each family expressed their appreciation for the gifts, many running their fingers over and over the piece of precious steel.  One recipient told him, "After 20 years, this is the most sacred gift I have received to commemorate my son."

About Monuments

Monuments is a residential treatment center and therapeutic school for young men ages 13-17 located near Cedar City, UT. Monuments' mission is to create a unique relational experience immersed in relevant learning through utilizing the benefits of clinical expertise, true horsemanship, and progressive education. Monuments Progressive Education Program is an experiential learning program that offers students the opportunity to learn real-life, relevant skills including digital fabrication, UAV photography and videography, outdoor leadership, music production and horsemanship.