The Austin Chronicle

Day Trips: 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial, Grapevine

Poignant monument pays tribute to those who lost their lives

By Gerald E. McLeod, September 10, 2021, Columns

The 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial in Grapevine remembers the 33 airline employees, 71 law enforcement officers, 343 firefighters, and 2,977 civilians who lost their lives 20 years ago this month.

All day long, passenger jets fly over the bronze and stone monument, leaving and arriving at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport. Many members of the flight crews with American and United airlines who died that day were based out of the Texas airport.

Dedicated on July 4, 2008, the bronze sculpture by Dean Thompson features four 14-foot-tall airline employees, with a male flight attendant wrapping a blanket around a girl holding a teddy bear, representing the traveling public. The names of the flight crews who died on 9/11 are etched around the granite base.

The plaza also includes a memorial to the law enforcement and firefighters who lost their lives.

A poignant reminder of the human cost, the monument is at 1000 Texas Trail on the eastern edge of Grapevine. It can be accessed by going north from SH 121, west of the DFW Airport.

As the debris of the twin towers in New York City was cleared away, parts of the skyscrapers were saved to be included in memorials around the world. According to the Port Authority of New York, more than 2,600 artifacts were preserved and have been distributed to almost 1,600 locations worldwide.

At least 70 pieces of the buildings came to Texas. The largest of these artifacts is a 36-foot-high full-facade panel installed at the Ft. Worth Museum of Science and History.

Other artifacts can be found at the Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Veterans Memorial Park in College Station, and the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

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