9/11 memorial to feature WTC beam
IF YOU GO
Who: Janesville Firefighters Local 580 and Janesville Firefighters Charities
What: Ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001
When: Noon, Sunday, Sept. 11
Where: Firehouse Park, 101 N. Main St., Janesville
JANESVILLE An authentic symbol of the 9/11 terrorist attacks soon will find a permanent home in historic downtown Janesville.
A steel beam from the World Trade Centers will serve as part of a new memorial in Firehouse Park, 101 N. Main St. At noon Sunday, Janesville Firefighters Local 580 and Janesville Firefighters Charities will host a half-hour service at the park to remember the terrorist attacks that downed the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
Though the memorial won’t be finished in time for Sunday’s 10th anniversary event, an artist’s conceptual drawing of the monument will be displayed and its main feature—the steel beam—will be dedicated.
When complete, a concrete pillar representing the Twin Towers will hold the 6-foot, 300-pound steel beam, said Janesville Fire Department Lt. Dave Sheen, who is leading construction of the monument.
“It’s pretty elaborate and really unique,” he said.
David Kemp, a fellow parishioner of Sheen’s and a retiree of J.P. Cullen & Sons, enlisted an architect friend from Detroit to design the monument. The designer has chosen to remain anonymous, Sheen said.
This inscription will appear on a plaque mounted on the monument upon completion:
“This beam from the World Trade Center is dedicated with appreciation to the courageous firefighters who unselfishly gave their lives while aiding their fellow man following the unprecedented act of terrorism against our country on September 11, 2001.
Their bravery, compassion and loyalty during a time of national distress define the character of this great nation.
To those 343 New York City firefighters who fell that day and to firefighters who carry on across all cities and towns, across all generations, we commemorate this monument.
This concrete obelisk represents the World Trade Center Towers while the beam is set horizontally, just as it was installed by ironworkers, who marked it to indicate its placement when the towers were constructed. The beam points east to New York, site of the terrible attack upon our nation.
Placed in Firehouse Park, Janesville, Wisconsin, on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of that tragic day.’’
The Janesville Plan Commission approved the proposed monument Tuesday and will recommend the Janesville City Council do the same.
The goal is to have the memorial installed by fall, Sheen said. Once the physical installation begins on the project, it should only take a few days to complete, he said.
While firefighters will provide the manpower to erect the monument, the hope is the rest of the materials, equipment and skilled trades services will be donated.
If the project had been hired out, estimated costs would have been about $7,000, said Justin Wiskie, chairman of the local firefighters charities.
“There still might be a slight cost, but the city is not paying anything for it,” Wiskie said. “It’s being funded through the firefighters’ charities.”
Wiskie said Sunday’s program would be “short and sweet,” noting it will include words by the Janesville Fire Department chaplain, bagpipers, the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, a soloist singing “God Bless America,” a brief speech by Janesville Fire Chief Jim Jensen and a thermal imaging camera demonstration.
After the ceremony, all are invited to eat at Time Out Pub & Eatery, 101 E. Milwaukee St., where owner Brian Cherry will donate lunch sale proceeds to the firefighters charities’ new 9/11 Scholarship Fund.