Bell County teen helps keep promise to 'Never Forget'
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In the days following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Americans made a promise to never forget.
One Bell County teenager put those words into action several months ago, when he embarked on an Eagle Scout project to create a 9/11 memorial in Killeen.
On Sunday, Mathew Schwartzman unveiled the finished product at Lions Club Park.
'This observance is unique ant it's inspiring," Brig. Gen. Joseph DiSalvo, Fort Hood Deputy Commander, said. "I doubt that there are few ceremonies where a 15-year-old young man spearheaded the agenda."
As part of the project, Schwartzman had to present his idea and receive approval from the Killeen City Council.
Once he received permission, Schwartzman had to raise funds and the support needed to pay for a flagpole, bronze eagle statue and two trees that are a part of the memorial
"As you drive up and down, the mere fact that they will see this will cause many to stop," Killeen Mayor Timothy Hancock said.
Schwartzman hopes the memorial will encourage many to stop and remember those who tragically died that day.
"It's not about me, it's not even about all these people,” he said. “It's about the victims and the families that were affected by the tragedy."
He also hopes it serves as a reminder of what can be accomplished.
"I'm 15, but anybody can do this," he said. "They just have to put their heart into this. They just have to want to do this."
While Sept. 11 will always be a day marked by tremendous loss, it has also become a day of opportunity to gain through giving service.
"It means so much to the community," Schwartzman said. "I've had so many people come up to me and say thank you."