9/11 monument in Henrico County in limbo due to lack of funds

Posted at 11:53 PM, Aug 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-19 09:39:46-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- In 2001, a Richmond man started planning to build a 9/11 memorial in Henrico's West End. It was supposed to be built by 2010, but now six years have passed and nothing has been done.

Donations and stipulations are the two key reasons why, according to Richard Melito, founder of the Freedom Flag Foundation.

The monument is supposed to go across the street from Regency Square Mall. If it ever goes up, it could be a great location for exposure to tens of thousands of cars that drive by each day.

Moument 9 11

"To build a monument in the city of Richmond or county of Henrico would certainly be a benefit for us," said Melito.

Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Melito designed a flag to honor the victims.

The Freedom Flag as he calls it has been adopted by the Virginia Historical Society and received a proclamation as an official state symbol of remembrance by Senator Mark Warner.

Six years ago, Melito was also granted approval to build a two story monument of the Freedom Flag at Parham and Eastridge Roads in Henrico. But plans for the wall have hit a wall.

Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Melito designed the Freedom Flag to honor the victims.

Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Melito designed the Freedom Flag to honor the victims.

"Its been an uphill battle and a struggle to get the funds," said Melito. "We're trying to raise somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million to build it."

He also said he's about a third of the way to reaching that amount.

The project must also satisfy provisions outlined by Henrico County. In a statement to CBS 6 the County said the Freedom Foundation must:

"Enter into a formal agreement with the county agreeing to construct and maintain the facility and provide evidence of sufficient funding to complete and maintain the monument."

Richard Melito

Richard Melito

Selling flags and relying on donations from individuals as well as corporations is how Melito is trying to meet those provisions in order to reach his ultimate goal.

"Unfortunately 9/11 happens every year and we'll keep plugging away at it until we get this monument built," he said.

While the foundation has not yet met Henrico County's satisfactions, Melito hopes that they can reach their $1 million financial goal this year especially since it will be 15 years since the 9/11 attacks.

For more information on the project and the Freedom Flag Foundation, click here.

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