By Stephen Levine antonnews.com
Rotary Club and Eagle Scout install bronze statue at local fire department
While parades and barbecues were once again a normal occurrence this Memorial Day, Williston Park residents were treated to a little something extra. At 11 a.m. at the Williston Park Firehouse, the Rotary Club of Williston Park installed the sculpture “Every Day a Hero” as a monument donated and dedicated to all of America’s heroes who risked their lives during the September 11th attacks.
The sculpture, which now proudly stands in front of the firehouse, depicts a life-sized firefighter engaged in his work. The sculpture was customized specifically to the firefighters of New York by placing their unique insignia on the helmet, thus making the sculpture one of a kind to New York firefighters.
First designed in 2002 as a direct reaction to the tragic events of 9/11, the statue is a visual statement of “Service above Self,” which is the motto that members of the Rotary Club live by. In 2001, the firefighters of New York City illustrated that motto when they responded to the events of the September 11th attacks.The sculpture itself began its journey all the way in Colorado. It was sculpted in clay by Colette Pitcher and then cast in bronze by her husband Gary Pitcher.
Both Pitchers are members of the Centennial and High Plains Rotarian clubs, respectively. The couple wanted to bring the sculpture to New York to say that the “West Remembers.”
The 350-pound statue cost about $30,000 for its construction, delivery and installation. This particular sculpture has a 20-edition limit, so Williston Park is one of the very few places that the “Every Day a Hero” sculpture can be found.
“We’re all honored that our club was chosen to help install the statue,” said Williston Park Rotary Club President Nancy Zolezzi. “It really does represent our motto of “Service above Self.”
There were many other members of the Williston Park community who were helpful in this project. Local business owner Maryanne Fearon helped the Williston Park Firehouse to be selected as the site of this statue.
Eagle Scout candidate and junior firefighter Dylan Perro also helped by undertaking the design and installation of the statue as his Scout qualifying project.
During the official dedication on Memorial Day, Perro explained his purpose in his efforts with the monument as a way, “to remember the fallen heroes and those who still serve today.”
The presentation of the monument also included dedications to members of the Williston Park Fire Department family who had passed on in the past year. Long time firefighter Anthony Lang’s family were asked to bring wreaths towards the statue in memory to those who didn’t get to see the sculpture unveiled.
“Williston Park and other local communities were the real ground zero at 9/11,” said Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello. “The statue is fitting and proper because our firefighters are everyday heroes.”