Memorials planned in Franklin County for Ground Zero artifacts

August 31, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Permanent memorials are being planned for World Trade Center artifacts coming to Franklin County, Pa.

In Washington Township, Pa., officials are seeking firefighters, police officers, veterans, architects, landscape designers and other people interested in deciding how a 1,088-pound steel column will be displayed.

The township recently received confirmation it was approved for the steel from Ground Zero.

On Sept. 11 — the 10th anniversary of terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and rural Pennsylvania — a commemorative service in Chambersburg, Pa., will serve as the dedication for artifacts received there.

A ceremony on Chambersburg's Memorial Square will start at 5 p.m. During that ceremony, artifacts will be unveiled to the public, as well as an artist's rendering of a permanent memorial.

Letterkenny Army Depot personnel, led by Sgt. Major Gregory R. Stevens, retrieved three pieces of steel, the largest of which weighs 1,370 pounds, according to the Rev. Dr. William Harter from the United Churches of the Chambersburg Area.

"They are being fashioned into a permanent memorial to be displayed at the Letterkenny Chapel as part of what will be a larger memorial to veterans," Harter said.

The ceremony will include remarks from Rodney Gettig, a retired U.S. Army colonel who assisted in World Trade Center rescue efforts, and Douglas Warnock, who was in the Pentagon when the attack there occurred.

Washington Township Manager Mike Christopher said he's already received suggestions on how to display the 4-foot piece assigned to the municipality. Among those are a plaque depicting first responders running toward the collapsing buildings, a granite base holding the steel at an angle and a base of rocks.

Christopher said he hopes to talk to The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey early next week about the column, then send a pickup truck to New York City to retrieve the item.

Supervisor Elaine Gladhill said she thinks the column should be installed at Red Run Park in Rouzerville, Pa., near the pond.

The Port Authority put few restrictions on how the column can be used in an effort to encourage creative memorials, Christopher said.

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