Canton Resident Helping Town Pay Tribute to 9/11
Architect Greg Pando helped the town design a monument dedicated to 9/11 victims.
Greg Pando has lived in Canton since the late 1940s. The architect is on the Canton committee that is creating a 9/11 memorial for the town. The monument, the first for the town, will be unveiled on the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
The memorial will stand next to the war memorial monuments at the Canton Corner Cemetery on Washington Street. It will serve as a memorial for all victims lost in the attacks, including former Canton resident Michael Uliano.
The memorial committee, made up of Police Chief Ken Berkowitz, Building Commissioner Ed Walsh, Veterans Agent Tony Andriotti, Selectmen Chairman John Connolly and Fire Chief Charles Doody, worked together to create the monument.
“When you think of memorials you have to think 100 years from now, someone is going to see this and probably have very little idea or no idea, or 200 years from now, what 9/11 was,” Pando said.
The committee took that into account when creating the memorial, he said.
The simple design reflects the former Twin Towers in New York City and features a dark, charcoal granite and two columns, the architect said.
“Nothing shiny, all dull, gray, sorrow, sadness and it’s going to have a field of granite surrounding the bases,” he said.
Two bronze plaques will have the history of September 11. The plaques will commemorate the date of the event, the history of the 9/11 attack and commemorate Michael Uliano, a former Canton resident who was killed in the terrorist attacks.
Ten years ago, on September 11, Pando recalled where he was.
“It’s the sort of thing you don’t forget,” Pando said. “For those of us who are older, you don’t forget the Kennedy assassination and where you were.”
“On 9/11, I remember I was just pulling into my office early in the morning and I thought it was just some sort of joke on the radio.”
He was in “complete shock that it was an actual attack,” the Canton resident recalled.
“I remember at the time feeling very helpless,” Pando said. “It It just felt very disquieting.”
Looking back after a decade, he said 9/11 has forever altered the United States.
“We all lost our innocence as a country at that point in time,” Pando said. “The world changed, the genie came out of the box and things would really never be the same in terms of security, in terms of the way we travel…it’s unfortunate we had to go down that path.”
The 9/11 Memorial will be unveiled in Canton on September 11, 2011 at 8:45 a.m. at the Canton Corner Cemetery.