May 21 will be an emotional day — the public's first look at New York City's 9/11 Memorial Museum, its photographs of the nearly 3,000 victims and items recovered from the 2001 terrorist attacks. One of the first things visitors will encounter is the work of Lakewood's Norton Industries, which crafted the wood ceiling on the first two floors. President Tricia Rhea tells us what it was like to be a part of the historic project.
Getting the call to be involved with the project back in 2009 was pretty incredible. Everything was manufactured and assembled here in Lakewood and then shipped out. When the lumber came in, we made it very clear to all the carpenters where it was going, so they realized what they're touching is going to be pretty heartfelt to those visiting the museum and a part of the overall emotional landscape of the building.
As soon as you walk in the museum, the first thing you see is this beautiful wood ceiling that extends along the walls of the first floor and into the second, covering about 12,000 square feet total.
We are invited to the grand opening. I don't even know anybody directly connected to the event, and I could cry about it. I can't even imagine what family members and people who live in the area are going to feel. I'm just so overwhelmed to be a part of something so big.
— as told to Cassie Smith