23 Students at Tulsa Tech, with the help of instructor Chauncey Kila, worked together to build something positive and meaningful. This year’s design was inspired by the blue tile memorial wall in the 9-11 Museum. The quote, “No Day Shall Erase You From The Memory Of Time,” by Roman poet Virgil is made of steel representing the steel from the Trade Center. Approximately 2,983 blue tiles represent the number of victims on 9-11. Water cascades over the face into a pool full of debris representing the rubble from the Trade Centers. Two plexiglass Towers stand in front to represent the Trade Centers. At the base of the Towers are Pavestone brick pavers in the shape of a pentagon. In between the Towers is a pedestal with the number 93 for Flight 93. Images of 9-11 are projected on the water wall. We are starting to get students that were not even born yet. Masonry with a little history thrown in. All constructed using SPEC MIX Portland Lime and Sand Type S Mortar.
Kila said, “I started making it a class project in 2003, so every year the students build a 9/11 tribute wall. The students I have now weren’t born [in 2001], so it serves as a history lesson. It also allows us to get students out there with masonry tools. Plus it teaches them other skills like communication, teamwork and problem solving.”
The project took the students two and half weeks to complete. And with several first year students, it also serves as an excellent confidence builder. “It gives them a sense of accomplishment, they get to stand back and watch people admire their work,” said Kila.
Every year they build the memorial it turns out a little differently. Eliciting a response, not just from the students who put their heart and soul into the project, but also those directly impacted by the events on 9/11.
“It doesn’t really hit them until people start coming by and looking at it,” said Kila. “They are just in awe. To them it was a class project and then it becomes something much bigger and they realize how special it is.”
Chauncey is in his 18th year teaching at Tulsa Tech. He learned how to lay brick through the bricklayer Local 5 union, after a two year apprenticeship. Kila stumbled into teaching, “by accident.” Now he’s turning heads by teaching a new generation valuable life skills while educating them about one of the most infamous days in American history.
For more information on this project, click here.