Guest column: How the Freedom Park Memorial came to be | VailDaily.com
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Guest column: How the Freedom Park Memorial came to be

Buddy Sims
Valley Voices
A 600-pound piece of limestone from the Pentagon is centerpiece for the Freedom Park Memorial in Edwards.
Courtesy Buddy Sims

The Freedom Park Memorial in Edwards with limestone from the Pentagon following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was planned and constructed by valley contractors to remember for eternity those lost that day.

The U.S. government responded with military might that routed the terrorists in Afghanistan and has kept our country safe for many years. The 600-pound piece of the Pentagon limestone was brought in a rental truck by the Sims family in 2005 from Washington, D.C. It was added to the Freedom Park Memorial to honor EMS, 911, and veterans under the direction of Tab Bonidy, an Edwards architect, in 2010 to provide a central valley location for all to remember on Patriot Day.

The Pentagon limestone became the centerpiece for the memorial, thanks to the Freedom Park Memorial Committee, the Minturn VFW Post 10721, and over a dozen local contractors who donated time and materials.



The plaque that greets vistors to the Freedom Park Memorial in Edwards.
Courtesy Buddy Sims

The Pentagon limestone stands to honor those 184 civilians and military killed by American Airlines Flight 77 that struck the Pentagon. On Patriot Day, U.S. flags are lowered halfway, and there is a country-wide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time), which is when the first plane crashed into one of the Twin Towers.

We will never forget the sacrifices of all those Americans defending the United States for these many years nor will we ever forget nor forgive the terrorists responsible for this deadly act against our citizens. There are two 9/11 ceremonies in Eagle County on Sept. 11 — one at the EagleVail Golf Course at 11:50 a.m. and another at 2 p.m. at the Freedom Park Memorial in Edwards.

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The original board members of the Freedom Park Memorial Committee in 2004.
Courtesy photo

The 9/11 Pentagon limestone allows all local citizens to place their hands on this one-of-a-kind piece of memorial stone in Colorado to feel and heal the pain from 9/11. It stands as a symbol to continue to salute all those emergency responders and military members who have kept us safe from the very start of this great nation.

Buddy Sims, former Eagle County Commissioner Tom Stone and Tab Bonidy pose in front of the Pentagon limestone that is the centerpiece of the Freedom Park Memorial.
Courtesy photo

“We will Never Forget” is engraved on the 9/11 Pentagon limestone plaque in Freedom Park for all to honor and remember on this day. Please come out to honor our local emergency responders on Patriot Day.


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