As we remember the 14th anniversary of the terror attacks on New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, a Spring Hill man has created a 9/11 memorial of his own, transforming his yard into a huge tribute.
Diego Gomez says he wanted to do something different and special to remember the victims of those attacks. “The only tools I use is my weed eater, my feet and my paint,” he said.
Gomez says first he sketches it, and then he uses his feet to measure what he wants to create. After that, he uses the weed eater to carve it out and fill it in with paint. “It’s all even grass and then I just weed eat it down to the ground.”
It’s what he does for a living as a grounds keeper for Hernando County Schools. He maintains the district’s athletic facilities including the football fields.
But on his home turf today, each number and letter is painted red white and blue. “So we have the 9, and then we have the two towers, which represents 9/11. I always love the American flag,” he said.
He created a special tribute for the nearly 3,000 people who died, 14 years ago today. Diego started on Monday and it took him more than 25 hours to complete.
He used more than 8 gallons of paint, most of which was donated by the paint store owner after learning he was working on a 9/11 memorial. “I love to show my skills to tell their families, I’m sorry for all this time they’ve been without their wives, husbands, brothers or sisters,” he said.
Diego is from Costa Rica but has lived in United States for 32 years. He became a US citizen two years after 9/11 and says he’s always had a special place in his heart for New York, where he lived for several years.
Diego says even though he didn’t personally know any of the victims, this is his way to honor them, a way to let their families know, he’ll never forget.