Donations sought for Allendale memorial

By Allison Pries The Record

ALLENDALE — The borough is seeking donations as it finalizes plans to add a piece of the World Trade Center to its memorial at Crestwood Park.

The borough obtained a 16-foot-long beam from one of the buildings last month after Councilwoman Amy Wilczynski wrote more than a half dozen letters petitioning for one.

“I think everybody in the town is going to really appreciate it,” Wilczynski said.

A committee has met three times and developed a rough design they hope can be at least partially erected in time for the borough’s annual 9/11 ceremony.

“We’re just basically going to install it in an upright angular position,” said Mayor Vince Barra, who along with Wilczynski sits on the committee. “We haven’t figured out what we’re going to do around it.”

One thought is to do stone engravings with important times from the day — when the first plane hit Tower 1, when Tower 2 and the Pentagon were struck, etc. “So that future generations … can relate a little bit more,” the mayor said.

The committee’s hope is to at least have the steel in place by September 11.

The estimated cost for the project is about $25,000 to $35,000, much of which will be used for concrete work to secure the massive piece of steel, Barra said. No borough money will be used.

The artifact measures 192 inches long, 30 inches wide, 10 inches high and weighs about 25,000 pounds, he said.

Allendale was asked if it could accommodate a larger piece of the towers. Judging by markings, Wilczynski said, their artifact seemed to have initially been destined for Greenville, Ky.

“Some people have only 12-inch pieces,” she said, adding that she was told that the twisted rebar hanging from the beam and markings may indicate that the beam was perched between the 71st and 72nd floors of one of the buildings.

The concept for presenting the beam at the park will remain simple.

When the beam was brought into town with a procession and brought to the firehouse to be viewed, “a lot of people wanted to touch it,” Barra said. “We decided we would make it more interactive. Something where people can walk up to it and touch.”

Allendale resident Donald Delapenha was among those lost on 9/11 in the World Trade Center, but many residents also lost family members — including the mayor — and friends and colleagues, Wilczynski said.

Donations can be dropped off immediately in the clerk or CFO’s offices at borough hall — 500 W. Crescent Ave. Allendale. Checks should be made payable to the “Borough of Allendale” and in the memo section “WTC Steel Memorial.” All donations are tax deductible.

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