SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. – The construction of a 9-11 monument at the Vista firehouse is moving steadily toward fruition and the fire department plans to hold a ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m., to memorialize the event and update the community on the project’s progress.
Last year, the Vista Fire Department received a steel-beam artifact from the twin towers, which will be used as a focal point for the memorial. The department hired architect Kenneth McGahren to design the monument, which will cost approximately $50,000 to $55,000.
The department has been raising funds all summer by selling t-shirts and engraved brick paver stones that will be used to build an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant walkway from the fire station to the monument. Bluestone pavers will be used initially, but will be replaced with the inscribed bricks as they are sold.
Anthony Carelli, chair of the fund-raising committee, said that the community has stepped up and donations are on track to help complete the project.
“As far as people buying t-shirts and bricks, we are on the right path. Brick sales are going well,” he said. “We will be able to carry on [with the project]. We have more than enough [money] to finish the circle [around the monument] and the walkway. We are still raising money for some of the finishing touches.”
The memorial is designed to be a quiet, contemplative area and will feature a paved circle with benches that face the steel beam, which juts up from the center at a 45-degree angle.
“I think it’s going to look great; I love the design,” Carelli said. “It’s a great piece that reflects what happened. I think it speaks for itself.”
Ground has already broken for the memorial and some of the work has been completed. Tuesday’s event will help update town officials, donors and the community at large on its progress.
“We expect 50 to 60 people there,” Carelli said. “We’ll have town officials, [County Legislator] Peter Harckham, and the brick donors there. The purpose of the event is to reflect on 9-11 and give everyone an update on where we are with the project.”
Carelli said the department still needs donations to help complete the memorial. To donate, or buy a brick, residents can go to www.lewisboromemorial.org. Donations can also be sent to: 9-11 Memorial at Vista, 377 Smith Ridge Road, South Salem, NY, 10590.