The creation of the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial has truly been a labor of love by countless volunteers and the patriotic citizens of the City of Cashmere and the surrounding area. What began as a very modest proposal has blossomed into an extraordinary memorial serving to honor and pay tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11 and to help educate our children on the events that reshaped our country in so many ways.
SOME EARLY HISTORY ON THE 9/11 SPIRIT OF AMERICA MEMORIAL PROJECT
Late in 2013, a small group of Cashmere area citizens begin meeting at the Cashmere Library to consider competing with other communities to win the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial. The Memorial included a piece of structural steel from the 60th floor level of one of the Twin Towers, an ornamental piece of limestone from the face of the Pentagon and four bronze statues, together representing all those who perished on September 11th, 2001.
The Memorial was being offered by The Spirit of America Foundation to communities around the State but several communities in Eastern Washington became very interested in competing for the honor of having this beautiful ‘tribute to those lost’ given to their own community. There were many requirements to even compete and for various reasons some of the communities were unable to stay in the competition. Ultimately, after six months of preparations, the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Committee won the beloved Memorial for the City of Cashmere.
During the competition, the Committee committed to having the Memorial built by September 11th, 2015 so it could be dedicated on that day, the 14th Anniversary of 9/11. This promise was carried out with the tremendous support and involvement from the Cashmere Community and many others from around Chelan County. Significant cash donations, grants in-kind donation of materials formed a needed foundation but the incredible level of volunteer support from average citizens and building professionals was a sight to behold. Literally, dozens of people were involved.
The Board of Chelan County Commissioners recognized the significance of the Memorial being given to Cashmere and by proclamation, declared the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial as the official 9/11 Memorial of Chelan County.
Since the dedication in 2015, annual 9/11 Ceremonies have been held an increasing number of attendees are from areas outside Chelan County. This fact, coupled with meeting scores of visitors to the Memorial, it is apparent the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial is increasing, a Regional asset.
The leaders of The Spirit of America Foundation were so impressed with the Memorial that was constructed that they offered the non-profit Foundation itself to our Committee as its own. Today the Memorial is managed by the locally-governed 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Foundation
Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett:
Thank you, for all who helped with this ceremony, it was a great start for things to come.
A small group of Cashmere citizens and officials begin meeting to consider competing for the elements of the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial, owned by The Spirit of America Foundation.
The ad hoc group decided to compete to win the Memorial elements and formed the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Committee, becoming a Committee of City government but remaining independent. Several sites in Cashmere were considered and the Cashmere City Council approved the use of the current site and agreed to take ownership of the Memorial, if the Committee is successful in its pursuit.
June 26, 2014
The 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Committee conducted a formal presentation to the Board of The Spirit of America Foundation – outlining the reasons why Cashmere would be the best site for this sacred Memorial.
Early July 2014
David Lewis, President of the Spirit of America Foundation notified Tom Green, Chairman of the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Committee that Cashmere won the competition and would receive the Memorial. The two other finalist cities were Wenatchee and Chewelah.
August 7, 2014
The 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Committee conducted a community arrival ceremony to formally receive the elements of the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial from David Lewis, representing The Spirit of America Foundation. Mayor Jeff Gomes accepted ownership on behalf of the City of Cashmere.
September 11, 2014
The 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Committee conducted the first Annual Ceremony on the site chosen to be the location of the new Memorial. Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett was the guest speaker.
March 25, 2015
The 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Committee breaks ground on the new site next to Cashmere Riverside Center.
September 11, 2015
The 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial is dedicated with some eleven-hundred in attendance and Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste serving as guest speaker.