Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant, Police Commissioner John Barbieri, Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of the Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt, designers Sam Ostroff from Salmon Studios and Bruce Rosenbaum of ModVic, and representatives from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts unveiled the design and location for Springfield’s September 11th Memorial which will incorporate the artifact bestowed to the Spirit of Springfield by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“On this 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, I am very appreciative of the Spirit of Springfield’s efforts to organize a memorial to the First Responders who lost their lives in 911,” said Mayor Sarno. “The Spirit of Springfield answered the invitation sent to communities across the United States and responded affirmatively to accept so that Springfield and the Pioneer Valley would have the opportunity to pay proper respect for not only our Country but to the men and women who courageously entered the twin Towers Site to protect the lives of others. This steel will be proudly presented and displayed to all who visit at Riverfront Park. As we develop the plans for this park and start construction next fall this memorial will have an everlasting impact on all those who visit and serve to remind everyone that we need to cherish our rights for freedom on a daily basis and never to take this right for granted. I also want to share, that we are truly fortunate to have the Spirit of Springfield, as for the past 26 years, Spirit of Springfield has been the gate keeper for our city to ensure we never lose sight of the importance of what it takes to create a community. The events they produce along with the hundreds of actions they do in concert with other organizations instills a sense of pride and respect for our city.”
The design selected is entitled Twin Shadows. As presented by Salmon Studios and ModVic, “During the day, visitors are presented with the World Trade Center Artifcact, balancing lightly on one end in the center of a circular memorial. A giant curved piece of metal holds the names of NYC’s first responders in two large columns with a gap in between. When night falls, this gap is filled with two memorable shadows, created using the silhouette of the artifact. Names remain lit for viewing and ambient light allows visitors to pay their respects.”
Funding for the design concept was donated by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.
After careful consideration and review of many locations in Springfield, it was determined the best location for the September 11th Memorial will be Riverfront Park. It will be incorporated in to the park’s designs being done by Weston & Sampson.
“I am extremely happy that our 911 Memorial is finally coming to fruition in a design that captures the World Trade Center steel in a thoughtful and proper manner,” said Commissioner Conant. “This will provide a place for the public and the first responder community to come and reflect on the horrible events of September 11, 2001, and the hundreds of first responders who lost their lives in service. I believe that this memorial will become the focal point of Springfield’s renovation of Riverfront Park.”
“I am humbly honored to be involved with this project to memorialize those brave public servants that braved unimaginable conditions and sacrificed everything,” said Commissioner Barbieri.
In August 2010, the Spirit of Springfield sent a request to The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for an artifact from the World Trade Center. The letter was signed by Sullivan, Matt, former Fire Commissioner Gary Cassanelli and former William Fitchet. It was more than a year later and many telephone calls and emails to The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that the Spirit of Springfield was given Artifact #I-0129s.
On the final day of distribution of the artifacts, Will Arment from Charlie Arment Trucking went to The Port Authority’s Hangar 17 to pick up the piece and deliver it to Springfield. It received a hero’s welcome as it was driven down Main Street draped in the American Flag on September 8, 2011.
The Springfield’s artifact is section of an I-beam which is approximately 12 feet long and weighs about 3,000 pounds. The Port Authority has distributed more than 2,600 pieces of steel and other items from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. They have gone to communities in all 50 states and 10 foreign countries.