Remember the 9/11 Wall of Hope? Tens of thousands of you pitched in to remember the victims, to never forget. That wall is now in storage in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, in preparation for another unveiling next year.
Seeing the panels' metal frames, some of them rusted and deteriorated, at first glance remind you that it's been 19 years since 9/11, that horrible day when hijacked commercial airlines crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people.
But then you're brought back to present, looking at the tiles, most in great condition, to the enduring feelings of hope, unity, and peace hand-painted by 20,000 Rhode Islanders from all walks of life.
"They were all assembled here and then we transported them to the WaterFire area," said Junior Jabbie, the president and CEO of Banneker Supply Chain Solutions.
Most are in storage now at the company until their reimagined incarnation, a monument, is unveiled next year.
"I think the Wall of Hope isn't about necessarily just 9/11, but it really is about hope. It's about believing that together we can accomplish more, and that we have way more in common together than we have differences," said Jabbie.
The plan is to remove all the tiles from the now rusted encasements, fix the ones that are now broken or compromised, to get them already for their new home.
"We have designs and we have ideas. We're just don't want to give away the secret too early," added Jabbie, not disclosing what the monument will look like or where, only to allude to that it will be in Providence.
He now owns Banneker and took over after its founder Cheryl Watkins Snead died of a heart condition two years ago, now carrying on her work.
"It was an opportunity for us to do what we do best. Fill some of our moral and social obligations and social responsibility," said Jabbie. "The Wall of Hope for us: it's a matter of the heart, not just a matter of business. We wanted these tiles and this living art project to be protected in perpetuity."
Anyone who would like to help, can send an email to the non-profit "Rhode Island 9/11 Wall of Hope Monument" at firstname.lastname@example.org.