Memorial to Haddonfield Terrorism Victim Grows After 9/11
Camden County's Victims of Terrorism memorial designer John Giannotti recalls how a monument to the Pan Am flight 103 victims suddenly changed.
After the Pan Am flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed his daughter in 1988, Stan Maslowski advocated for a memorial for the local victims. The memorial was close to fruition when another unthinkable terrorist attack struck—Sept. 11, 2001.
Everything changed, recalls memorial designer John Giannotti. No longer did anyone feel right erecting a memorial solely to the Pan Am victims.
On Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Giannotti joined others at what became the Victims of Terrorism memorial at Cooper River Park. The memorial was dedicated on the one-year anniversary of 9/11.
In his own words, Giannotti explains how a Haddonfield-centric project grew much larger:
Some people have asked. how is it possible to put the monument up so quickly and have it dedicated one year to the date after the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001?The reason is because the monument was already being designed for another purpose.
Stan Maslowski, a resident of Haddonfield, lost his daughter Diane on the terrible flight of Pam Am 103 over Lockerbie in 1988. Seven residents of Camden County lost their lives on that flight, and he asked me to design a memorial for those seven people. The seven columns were to have originally been dedicated each to one person.
Two days after Sept. 11 was the scheduled date for me to bring in my scale model to the committee for the previous monument, and when I walked into that meeting after the tragedies of two days before, I knew that something had drastically changed.
It was Stan who said at that meeting, “This monument, unfortunately, has just gotten a lot bigger.” And we decided on that morning to redesign the monument as something for victims of terrorism that have occurred since 1983. Now, each of the seven pillars talks about one or more of those events.
Two of the final plaques of the pillars are decided to Sept. 11—the tragedies in New York, Washington and Shanksville.
I am honored to see such care being taken with the planting of these trees. I was late here this morning because one of the TV stations was replaying the events of that morning. I found myself just as emotional this morning as on that day because it’s an ongoing tragedy that we continue to think about every single day of our lives. It has changed our lives in many, many different ways. So I thank you for coming. I’m glad to have had some part in this as well.
For more of Haddonfield Patch's coverage on 9/11 and Diane Maslowski, see:
- You Said It!: Haddonfield Remembers 9/11, Susan Maslowski
- You Said It!: Haddonfield Remembers 9/11, 'I Saw the Second Plane Hit'
- County Tree Planting to Honor Victims of 9/11
- Gaddafi's Death May Bring Closure for Haddonfield Woman Who Lost a Sister in Pan Am 103 Bombing
- Haddonfield Tree Lighting Friday With Very Special Meaning