The Abington Board of Commissioners last night approved a motion establishing a donation account to fund a 9/11 memorial to be located at the township-owned fire and police training grounds.
The plan is to build a memorial consisting of a flag pole and a pentagon-shaped masonry base supporting a two-foot steel section of one of the World Trade Center towers on the training grounds in the 2200 block of Florey Lane. The memorial will illuminated, open 24/7, and will cost about $15,000.
Abington Fire Marshal Ken Clark said the fire department received one of the last steel sections from the World Trade Center towers in New York City; Clark said the department put in a request for one of the artifacts years ago, but said the request got lost.
“It took a number of phone calls for them to find it. By then, the whole operation of giving out artifacts was almost over,” Clark said, “so we were lucky to secure this small 2-foot section of steel and we will do our best to make it presentable for anybody to come visit at any time. It’s my hope that it will be there forever. It will be a constant reminder to the new, young police officers and fire fighters.”
Clark said the fire department and the township are seeking residents who were affected by the events of 9/11; those residents would be recognized on a plaque.
The fire department received two concepts from the architecture firm Adams and Company out of Willow Grove.
From a letter from the firm to the township:
The steel beam ‘relic’ is supported on a slender pedestal of four steel bars, approximately 24 feet high. Placed in a circle of small river stones the rusting of the steel will symbolically bleed into the earth below.
The polished granite ‘tower’ inlays, as well as the relic, are set to the solar orientation of correct azimuth and altitude for the sun to cast a shadow directly between the towers at 8:46 a.m., Sept. 11. The flagpole, approximately 35 feet high, and the supported relic, have in-ground up-light fixtures for nighttime illumination. A dedicated plaque is placed at the base of the relic pedestal.
Clark said the memorial will likely be unveiled on Sept. 11 of next year.
Resident Victor Krievins spoke in favor of the memorial.
“I’m very touched by the fact that we’re honored to be able to receive steel from the World Trade Center — there aren’t enough pieces to go around to everybody so obviously Abington is honored to receive it,” Krievins said. “It may not be the ideal location where the most people will see it, but it’s the will of the police and the firemen and I’m glad that we’re respecting that.
Donation checks may be made payable to the township, care of the finance department. The checks would be tax-deductable, according to Abington Township Manager Michael LeFevre.