Construction on a 9/11 memorial park is currently underway by the St. James Fire District, and should be completed by month’s end.
Ed Springer, current commissioner and former chief for the district, said the memorial should be completed by the weekend of Aug. 27, more than two weeks before the dedication ceremony on Sept. 11.
Springer said the next steps towards completion of the memorial park include the installation of a sprinkler system, as well as the installation of sod that was donated by Lowes, and the planting of trees for the berm of the park, which were donated by Home Depot.
The commissioner said with the exception of the lights and paving, everything at the park was donated by residents and local businesses, and added that the lights and paving were purchased at cost or at a discount.
The focal point of the memorial is the steel column from the World Trade Center, referred to as the "bowtie section." The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey donated the column to the fire district.
What will precede the steel column at the memorial is a stone with an embedded plaque dedicated to those who lost their lives at Ground Zero.
According to Springer, the fire district had 18 people at Ground Zero, and a member of the district was killed in the aftermath of the attacks – Captain Douglas Oelschlager. The district has a memorial for the late captain at the entrance of the Jefferson Avenue location.