This Thursday marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. It is a difficult day for the entire nation as we join together to remember and mourn those who lost their lives. Here in Athens, Georgia, we have a special 9/11 memorial to honor those individuals.

Bob Hart, a former technology professor at the University of Georgia, has created a 300-yard memorial trail in his backyard. Journalist Christine Tibbetts visted the memorial and described her experience: 

"What you'll encounter as you meander the 300-yard trail are 99 wooden posts, each preserving 29 or 30 names of different 9/11 victims.  Honoring each is far more possible here than in many memorials: these are painted in stark white on the wood in large, clear letters. Hart topped each pole with an American flag painted on a cedar shingle.


'This is about remembrance,' he says of the names, placed randomly but possible to track with a guidebook available in a box at the trailhead.  Also in Hart's memorial forest are installations by noted Athens artists Mary Padgelek and Harold Rittenberry.  


Three Padgelek paintings declaring faith, hope, and love surround an American flag.  Says self-taught sculptor Rittenberry, 'The way to keep something precious to you is to fight for it all the time. It's the whole human experience.'


Hart, too, developed more art to guide remembering the details that day: stylized views of the Pentagon, the New York City skyline, and the Flight 93 crash site, filled with symbolism."


The 9/11 memorial is open daily with no fee at 320 Morton Farm Lane, Athens. Take a minute to stop by this week and observe a moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives 13 years ago. For more information about the trail, visit Bob Hart's website

See the full story by Christine Tibbetts in Georgia Connector Magazine (page 21). Also, tune into Travel Itch Radio #121 at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 to hear Bob Hart talk with Christine live about his incredible 9/11 memorial.

All Photos by Bob Hart