Updated: Feb 1
A 9-11 memorial at the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office is paying tribute to the individuals who lost their lives on that tragic day 21 years ago and to the first responders who answered the call for assistance in the immediate aftermath. The project was completed in 2017 by staff and inmates participating in the landscape maintenance program run by the Berkshire Education and Correction Services.
This memorial is particularly meaningful to Sheriff Thomas Bowler and his staff because staff members, including Bowler, were called in to assist at ground zero in New York City. At the time, Sheriff Bowler was the Assistant Deputy Superintendent in charge of all security affairs at the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office. The day after the terrorist attack, Bowler was asked to take six other people and respond to New York. Without hesitation, the team of seven spent several days at ground zero along with thousands of other first responders assisting with rescue and recovery efforts.
“When you’re in public safety, when people are in need, we never say no, we just go. That is exactly we did and I’m proud of our team,” Sheriff Bowler said. “I’ve seen a lot in my 36 years in law enforcement, but that was no doubt one of the saddest times of my life.”
Years later, Sheriff Bowler received two slabs of granite recovered from the World Trade Center site. The Sheriff’s Office designed a monument to remember the sacrifices that were made. The memorial is on display as visitors approach the jail’s entrance. The two slabs of granite are positioned side-by-side just like the twin towers that collapsed. It’s a daily reminder to never forget what happened.
“This monument encompasses all of that for us here at the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office, it’s a tribute to the dedicated first responders who showed up to help and a memorial for the thousands of individuals who didn’t make it home,” Sheriff Bowler said. “It was a tragic event that we all hope never happens again, but the memorial is a great reminder to never forget.”