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By Staff Sgt. Taylor Queen
157th Air Refueling Wing
The 157th Air Refueling Wing unveiled a stainless steel replica of the twin towers for the first time during a 9/11 memorial ceremony held at Pease Air National Guard Base, Sept. 11.
The replica, which will be used as a permanent memorial on base, was designed and built entirely by Pease Airmen.
“I don’t think there is a single person in fabrication that didn’t pour their blood, sweat and tears into this,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Morrison, an Aircraft Structural craftsman with the 157th Air Refueling Wing, and the lead designer for the replica.
“We wanted to make sure it would last, and that it was the best work we could do,” added Morrison.
Standing over 10-feet tall, the structure went through many phases before it was unveiled during the ceremony, which was part of the Thunder Over New Hampshire air show.
“You basically start with an idea and have to figure out how to get it to a tangible product,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy DeLong, an Aircraft Structural craftsman with the 157th Air Refueling Wing. “It starts with the concept, moves to design, and then moves along to structural, sheet metal, and lastly riveting it all together.”
The process took more than a month to get perfect before the team called it done.
“Just the plaque at the base takes four hours to laser cut,” said DeLong. “It was important for us to get this perfect. We worked with tolerances as small as 1/10000 of an inch.”
It was more than just another job to the Airmen involved.
“It was a little emotional for all of us,” said Morrison. “We were just all so humbled and honored to be a part of making this.”