By Andrew Hackmack Long Island Herald
Village officials broke ground last week on a new September 11 monument that will include a 15-footlong, 3,350-pound piece of steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center.
Valley Stream secured a section of steel last year, which it unveiled during the village’s ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. It will now be fashioned into a permanent memorial at Hendrickson Park, overlooking the lake.
Last Friday, orange lines marked the borders of the memorial and a wooden beam mimicked how the World Trade Center steel will appear when it is put into place.
The monument will commemorate all of the events of September 11, 2001. Its base will be in the shape of a pentagon, done in brown brick with “FLT 93” in a tan brick, memorializing the plane that crashed near Shanksville, Pa.“We tried to have the imagery of the three places that were attacked,” Mayor Ed Fare said.
Two square towers will rise from the base, and will support the steel beam. The beam will be angled, rising from 6 feet to 9 feet above the ground. Fare said that the two towers will be the same height, but one will have an extra piece of steel extending from the top to resemble the World Trade Center’s North Tower, which was topped with an antenna.
The steel beam will actually point toward 1 World Trade Center, currently under construction in Lower Manhattan. Fare said that the tower is visible from larger buildings in Valley Stream, and recalled seeing the twin towers burning from the third floor of Central High School 11 years ago.
A village highway worker located 1 World Trade Center from 65 feet above the site of the monument in a maintenance truck bucket, and GPS technology was used as well.
Construction of the monument will be led by village mason John Barbarino. It is being built near the plaque dedicated to the victims of the attacks, where the village holds its annual September 11 service.
In order to avoid excluding anyone, Fare said, no names of victims will be included in the memorial. It is meant to be a tribute to everyone who died that day and all those who suffered a loss. He also noted that, more recently, people have died who fell ill from working at ground zero after the attacks, and the monument should honor those victims as well.
“I want this to be all-inclusive,” Fare said, “and as soon as I put a name on it, it’s not all-inclusive. This is for everyone. Everyone can come share their stories, their reflections, their grief.”
Village Highway Superintendent Tim Leahy said that digging up the grass in the 24-foot pentagon began on Monday. Soon the concrete foundation for the bricks will be laid. Crews will also dig four-foot-deep holes for the two towers, then pour steel-reinforced concrete in them.
“We have to go down so deep because it’s so heavy,” Leahy said, referring to the beam the towers will support.
For the time being, the beam is in storage at the village’s Public Works facility on Arlington Avenue.
Fare said he is hoping that the monument will be completed in time for the 11th anniversary service in two months. He said that the village has numerous seasonal workers during the summer who can help out to get the job done on time.