BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Bakersfield native Jeremy Staat created the Twin Towers monument on the campus of Bakersfield College to honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
The structure is on display at the Veterans Resource Center.
The towers represent the victims, the first responders, and those who entered the military following the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Staat says even as more and more time passes it’s crucial to stay educated and remember what happened on 9/11.
A retired defensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Staat joined the Marines following the death of his friend and former college teammate Pat Tillman.
He served in Iraq.
Staat is now a welding professor and created the towers to honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
“Our history has to be taught and it has to be remembered so we don’t make the same mistakes," said Staat.
"You know, this last event with the withdrawal from Afghanistan was really an eye opening experience for me because I lost friends in Afghanistan.
"One of the most famous guys that has probably died in Afghanistan was my former friend and teammate Pat Tillman. He was killed in Afghanistan in April of 2004 and to see the withdrawal and how it all ended and then losing 12 marines and one corpsman right at the end of the 20-year war, it really kind of left a huge void in my heart.”
Still he remains positive saying it wasn’t all for nothing.
And he believes honoring 9/11 allows us to come together as a country.
“I really have to believe that we made an impact on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and hopefully they’ll stand up for their rights and their freedom and democracy.
“Let's just break down these walls we’ve built up these last 20 years and come together as a country. Put aside political agendas, put aside religious beliefs, and just come together as Americans.”