Fundraising will begin soon for the Boone County 9/11 Memorial, which will center on a steel I-beam from one of the World Trade Center Towers destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001.
The I-beam, known to be part of a floor truss, was brought to Lebanon on Sunday, May 8, 2011, escorted by police and fire units and several private motorcycle groups, from a staging area at Trader’s Point Christian Church to Lebanon’s Courthouse Square, where it was on display for several hours.
Projected costs of the memorial, to be built on the northwest corner of Superior and Meridian streets, are estimated between $122,167 and $193,042, LFD Chief Ted Caldwell said. Originally, the monument was to be built at LFD’s Station 11, 975 Lasley Drive. The location was changed because, Caldwell said, “This memorial belongs to everyone who lives in and visits this area,” and a site near downtown Lebanon was thought more appropriate.
“We wanted to put it in a highly visible spot, where people can see it,” he said.
“The steel has DNA on it,” Caldwell said. “It’s important for people to touch it.”
Some people who stroked, touched, or prayed over the I-beam when it arrived burst into tears.
“You can’t touch it and not feel something,” Caldwell said.
The monument is not merely for the 343 Fire Department of New York firefighters who died when the Towers collapsed, the highest one-day death toll for any fire department in history. “This is for the 2,977 individuals who died that day” in New York, at the Pentagon, and when passengers heroically thwarted terrorist hijackers on United Flight 93, but died when the plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field.
A New York magazine has estimated that 20 percent of all Americans knew someone who died or was injured in the attacks.
“We’re just getting ready to get started raising money,” Caldwell said. “We have a good group of support people.” Some donations have been received, but “we’re getting ready to hit it hard” in the next two weeks, he said.
One of those support people is Miranda Dafoe, who is adopting the memorial as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Caldwell said. The Gold Award is the most prestigious honor a Girl Scout can receive.
“We’ll get the Boy Scouts on board, and my guys, too,” Caldwell said.
The I-beam will be displayed on a truncated-pyramid base with a weathered sandstone veneer. It will be impervious to paint and other materials, Caldwell said.
No completion date has been set.
Firefighters “felt so compelled” to protect the I-beam that they preserved loose pieces of rust that were on the steel when it arrived. Those particles have been preserved and could be incorporated into the monument, Caldwell said.