Jim Sotelo spent nearly three months constructing a memorial that pays tribute to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He said he spent 12-hour days working on the memorial from February 2004 through May 2004. His goal was to have it completed by Memorial Day.
The date is of great importance to Sotelo who is a former New Yorker. It was the birthday of his mother, who was shot to death 32 years ago, and also his wedding anniversary.
The finished memorial is enormous. It stretches 45 feet across his front lawn with a two-foot-deep Koi pond. Surrounding the memorial are a retaining wall, flagstone and flowers. The memorial also has a replica of the Statue of Liberty made of fiberglass. It has a little EmpireStateBuilding. It has a miniature Lincoln memorial with marble steps, plastic wedding cake columns in front and a ceramic Abraham Lincoln.
In the back of the memorial there is a blue sign in between an American flag and a POW/MIA flag that reads "Have you forgotten 9-11-2001." Below that sign there is a circular sign that reads, "America Never Forget." That sign has the shape of the Pentagon and inside of the figure are pictures of the Twin towers and an airplane to represent the plane that went down in Pennsylvania
Sotelo's neighbors were happy to pitch in and help. Terry helped to create the crown for the statue as the original was made of wood instead of fiberglass. Randy, who is a welder, constructed the TwinTowers and all its intricate details out of stainless steal. Behind the towers, Sotelo laid a strip of asphalt designed to resemble a road and a toy taxicab and tourist bus were placed on it. Next to the towers he set a hot dog stand, two park benches and tiny people looking up at the towers. Sotelo's son Richard helped with all the concrete work needed to construct the memorial.
Jim and Gail Sotelo welcome visitors. The memorial should be seen both in the day light and at night when it is illuminated by more than a dozen lights. One can visit the memorial by Turning off McIntosh Rd in Hollywood to Keith Ct.