Thanks to the efforts of resident Charlie Fisher, Milton has an artifact from 9/11.

Community Voices: Milton man spurs 9/11 memorial

As a former co-chairman of Tuesday’s Children, a support group in New York for those who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack, and lately the person credited with securing an artifact for a future 9/11 memorial in Milton, Charlie Fisher is doing what he can to make sure people remember.

“I’m doing it because I worked in that building,” the destroyed World Trade Center, said Fisher, a Milton resident and ex pat New Yorker. “I lost friends. It’s a tragedy that should have never happened, and I don’t want people to ever forget.

“That’s why I want this memorial to be here for hundreds of years. It’s a piece of history that I think future generations should know about.”

Milton officials say Fisher was the driving force behind the effort to secure for the city an artifact of the attack – a 3-inch-by-6-inch piece of steel from the World Trade Center site. It was presented to the City Council on Sept. 7 and displayed by the Fire Department at Milton High School’s 9/11 observance. It is now on temporary display at City Hall.

“One of my ideas is to go to the art departments of the high schools in Milton and have a contest among students to see who can come up with the best rendering of what the Milton 9/11 memorial should look like, and then we’d vote on it,” Fisher said.

He’s forming a nonprofit to raise funds for the memorial. His co-workers include Milton resident Bill Reilly, whose brother died at the World Trade Center, and Bill’s wife Natalie; Steven Krokoff, city manager, police chief and a former New Yorker; and Jim Cregge, commissioner of parks and recreation and a former New Jersey resident.

Fisher, who works with hedge funds, moved to Georgia several years ago with his wife Lisa and daughter Samantha to be closer to other family members, but he kept in touch with Tuesday’s Children. “One of the members, Kevin Parks – who lost his dad on 9/11 – asked me, ‘Does your town have a 9/11 memorial?’ I said we don’t. So he said, ‘Why don’t you do something about that?’”

The World Trade Center Artifact Program of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey worked only with official organizations, so Fisher asked City Council member Matt Kunz to write a letter on city letterhead. They got in just under the wire. The Port Authority ended the program at the end of August.

According to PBS Newshour, the Port Authority filled requests from 1,585 fire and police departments, municipalities, museums and other entities; 1,944 pieces of steel went out. New York, New Jersey and California got hundreds of items. Also receiving artifacts were at least 10 countries including China, Russia and the United Kingdom – and one small city in North Georgia.

“Without Mr. Fisher’s encouragement to apply for an artifact, the city would have missed this opportunity to honor those lost,” said Sarah LaDart, Milton economic development manager.

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