KEWASKUM — More than twenty highway miles in Washington County will soon serve as a constant reminder of the lives lost on 9/11. It leads to a memorial in Kewaskum, a community that lost a young woman in the attacks 18 years ago.
Firefighters lifted a tarp on a snowy afternoon Thursday to unveil a 1-ton section of a support beam that was salvaged from the north tower of the World Trade Center. It points from downtown Kewaskum toward New York City.
"It's been a long road from New York to here and this beam," said Gordy Haberman.
Nearly a decade ago, Haberman found out certain pieces that survived the 9/11 attacks were being released for memorials across the country. Haberman applied for one and even traveled to pick up the beam and drive it back. It now symbolizes the twelve known individuals with Wisconsin ties who died in the attacks, including Haberman's daughter Andrea.
"She was funny, she was smart, she was getting married," Haberman said.
Andrea was on the 92nd floor of the north tower on that fateful day when a plane crashed into the floors above her.
"Life was looking good," Haberman said. "Of course, life gets interrupted."
Gov. Tony Evers traveled to Kewaskum Thursday to sign a bill into law which renames several miles of State Highway 28 in Washington County to 'Wisconsin's 9/11 Memorial Highway'. The highway directly leads to the piece of American history.
"This memorial will serve as an important reminder to the people of Wisconsin of the loved ones we lost, their heroes that ran toward danger without a second thought and our nation's grit and resilience in a time of tragedy," Evers said.
The memorial is built to stand the test of time and to serve as a place for reflection and remembrance of the tragic event we must never forget thanks to one family that lives with their loss every day.
"She loved us so much, I wasn't done being her father," Haberman said. "I know we'll see her again."
While the centerpiece of this memorial is in place, there's still two phases of construction to go until it's complete next year. If you would like to donate, click here.