Somerville's 9/11 memorial
Spontaneously, ten years ago, the Somerville community gathered in Davis Square—the city's most well known square—at the site of a large granite circle in the middle of a traffic island.
Upon the granite circle, which was built in the mid 1980s and depicts a compass rose, Somervillians placed flowers, candles, handwritten signs and other mementos to mourn the loss of those who died on Sept. 11, 2011.
Those candles and flowers remained for months, but the city had to take the collection away with the onset of winter. Locals wanted to make permanent "the temporary memorial that sprang up on the rose compass," said Hilary Scott, a local sculptor who was hired to do just that.
Money at the time was tight, he said. The city could afford a plaque, but Scott convinced them to add an extra piece of granite. Out of that granite he fashioned an addition to the compass rose: a bezel, a device used on compasses to "point us in a direction we wish to go."
Upon the bezel are written the words, community, service, hope and courage, "those values that give us a direction," said Scott.
The bezel memorial was completed a week before the first anniversary of Sept. 11, and it was unveiled on the anniversary. Every year including and since Sept. 11, 2001, Somerville has held a vigil procession that terminates at this location.
Ten years ago, when Scott designed the bezel memorial, one thought ran through his mind: Compasses often have multiple bezels, and "if we have to, we can add another one." Ten years later, "I'm glad we didn't have to," he said.