9/11 Memorial delayed again

Plan drawings for the Kitsap County 9/11 Memorial. Organizers for the memorial said a lack of funding has pushed back completion of the project one year and asked the community for support in completing the memorial.  - Courtesy Graphic
Plan drawings for the Kitsap County 9/11 Memorial. Organizers for the memorial said a lack of funding has pushed back completion of the project one year and asked the community for support in completing the memorial.
— image credit: Courtesy Graphic

The completion date of the Kitsap County 9/11 Memorial has been pushed back a year and organizers said funding was the primary obstacle in completion of the project.

Originally slated to be complete on Sept. 11, the project has a new goal of Sept. 11, 2013, and organizers are seeking help from the community to help finish the project.

Margie Torbron, marketing and fundraising director for the memorial committee, said the entire estimated cost of the project is $360,000 of which $88,000 has been raised.

Beyond the actual memorial construction costs to be paid by the memorial committee, $300,000 in site preparations must be complete before the memorial can be built. The city has no budget for the work and the committee has said they will not build the memorial before site preparation is complete.

Torbron said the group is in need of cash donations, but also needs construction materials such as concrete, dirt and foundation and irrigation materials to assist in completion of the memorial.

“We also need a good price on a flag pole with a base,” she said.

She said the group will continue to raise funds through hosting events such as a gala held April 14 where the group was able to raise $6,000 for the project.

Departing Fire Chief Roy Lusk, Chair of the Kitsap 9/11 Memorial Committee, said the group also needs donations of time from citizens, especially those skilled in construction.

“We need all type of construction trades to help us through this project,” he said.

The completed project would employ two remnant steel beams from the World Trade Center Towers destroyed by the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001 and would be built on land owned by the City of Bremerton in Evergreen Park.

The steel was made available through the September 11th Families Association and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to be used as in memorials around the United States and the world.

The CKFR was the third in the nation to apply for the material and the first in Washington to be approved.

The design also includes tiles already created by local fifth graders depicting the children’s conception of heroism.

“The tiles will depict, either in words or pictures, what they believe a hero to be,” Lusk said. “150 of those tiles will be put on a wall of the memorial.”

Lusk said the decision to include the work of fifth graders who were either not born or too young to remember the day of the attacks was reflective of why it was important to complete the memorial.

“It is not only to honor the memory of the 343 FDNY firefighters that were killed that day, it is in memory of the 2,977 civilians, military, police, port authority and people just going about their everyday lives who lost their lives. It is important that they not be forgotten by future generations.”

Final Plans have been approved by the city after a committee and input from citizens scaled back the original design dimensions of the memorial and include some reflection of the affect that day had on Kitsap County.

Mayor Patty Lent said a meeting would be held today between city leaders and organizers of the project to discuss the details of moving forward with the memorial.

She said since the memorial was not relying on taxpayer money for completion and upkeep the final fate of the project would rely on volunteers throughout the community.

“We have the final plans approved by the city, citizens and the parks,” she said. “All we need is fundraising.


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