Remembering the fallen: City [Mesquite,OK] hopes to start memorial construction next year

Kenny Green, Mesquite Community News

The Mesquite Fire Department has been actively fundraising to make their vision for a 9/11 memorial a reality. The fire department obtained a beam from the World Trade Center in 2011 to be used in the memorial.

As part of the design of the 9/11 Memorial, people will get a chance to touch the beam while reflecting on what happened at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. - File Photo

As part of the design of the 9/11 Memorial, people will get a chance to touch the beam while reflecting on what happened at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. – File Photo

“It’s become a mission for us. We took on this responsibility a couple of years ago and we want to complete it,” said Capt. Kelly Turner, fire department spokesman. “It’s important for us to get this built so that we can remember all those that lost their lives on 9/11.”Since the beam arrived, a committee was established that consisted of several members of the city staff to help design the memorial. The final design consists of a large pedestal onto which the beam will be placed to serve as a sundial that will highlight plaques detailing what was occurring at that time on September 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists. Surrounding the beam will be a granite wall that will have a list of names of all the victims of the attack and a 360-degree crushed granite walkway that will allow visitors to touch the beam.

“Over time the beam will naturally rust. As people touch the beam, the rust will flake off in their hands. We want people to be able to take that memory with them,” Turner said.

The memorial will be built on the north lawn of the arts center, where it can receive adequate sunlight to make the sundial effect work.

The fire department has raised about one-third of the funds it needs for construction of the memorial. The hope is now that the economy is beginning to stabilize, the efforts to raise money will become easier.

“We have changed up our fundraising strategy a little moving forward. We are going to begin to reach out to contractors and other businesses that deal with the materials needed to build the memorial to see if they can donate materials and/or labor to help out,” Turner said. “By this time next year we should be able to start construction.”

The city is also taking donations to help with the cost to build the memorial as well. Anyone wanting to make a donation can make a check payable to the arts center in care of the WTC Memorial. Checks can be dropped off at the fire department administration office, 1515 N. Galloway, or at the arts center, 1527 N. Galloway.

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