Deborah LaRoche Ramsaur graduated with the Class of 1976 at Monroe Community College (NY). She went on to Washington D.C., where she worked as a civilian secretary for the deputy chief of personnel of the Army. She was at her desk at the Pentagon on Tuesday, September 11, 2001—one of many victims of the 9/11 tragedy who had ties to Rochester.
Soon, thanks to a strong partnership between MCC’s student government and the Rochester business community, there will be a place to go and reflect quietly about Ramsaur and the effects of 9/11. The Student Government Association, led by its former president Jessica L. Brown, received approval to construct a Remembrance Walkway dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Designed by the Rochester office of Sear-Brown, the memorial will be built on MCC’s Brighton Campus and dedicated on September 11, 2002.
A public place for reflection and healing, the walkway commemorates how the effects of the terrorist attacks touched people throughout the country and on the MCC campus. “Who, to this day,” says Brown, “does not feel the impact that the attacks on September 11 made on our country? The students and faculty here will never forget the moment when those planes tore through our hearts and souls.”
MCC leaders and the MCC Foundation have given full support to the memorial effort. R. Thomas Flynn, MCC President, says that the initial support the Student Government Association received from local businesses and individuals “shows the importance to our community of having a place to remember the tragic events of September 11.”
In March, Brown and Student Association members began to generate support for the project within the local business community—an important component of gaining the College’s approval for the project. Sear-Brown agreed to donate design and construction management services to the project, and an eight-person volunteer group of architects, landscape architects, engineers, and construction professionals initiated the project, headed by lead architectural designer Mark Maddalina.
The memorial will consist of a concrete and steel walkway and a monument reflecting the New York City skyline. Two voids within the monument, representing the World Trade Center Towers, will align with the sun at 8:45 a.m. each September 11, casting a vision of the towers along the walkway. A plaque within the monument will speak to all the events and lives touched during the attacks.
“The ability to participate in this unique project has had a deep personal meaning to the employees involved,” says Malinda Gaskamp, senior landscape architect and team leader. “It has also provided us with a way to reach out to the many people in our community touched by these events.”
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