Sierra Vista 9/11 memorial planned, donations needed

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Sierra Vista 9/11 memorial planned, donations needed

By Cory Marshall. CREATED Aug 21, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It is hard to find someone who doesn't remember exactly where they were-- what they were doing -- the morning of September 11, 2001.

"I got up early. I was sitting there watching [and] having a cup of coffee and just absolutely dismayed -- realizing and hoping I was wrong when the first plane hit," Sierra Vista Fire Chief Randy Redmond said.

"I was a PFC in the Army serving overseas in Korea," Sierra Vista firefighter, Jeremy Baker recounted. "[I remember} running back up stairs to my bunk and just turning on the TV. I turned it on just in time to see the second plane strike the tower."

Then, Baker had no idea his future would find him here -- working as a firefighter for SVFD and leading, what's become a community-wide, effort to build a 9/11 memorial.

But this isn't any ordinary statue or sculpture. Last June, the New York and New Jersey Port Authority awarded the department this  A 72-pound steel I-beam section, uncovered from the World Trade Center rubble. It's part of the WTC Steel Program. To date, the port authority has awarded the steel chunks to more than 1100 communities. Sierra Vista is one of three in Arizona.

"And this is where the flutter of souls will be erected, right here," Baker said, pointing to the center of a courtyard, located in front of SVFD Fire Station #3.

The memorial's design is a result of a community-wide contest where residents submitted their designs. The steel will sit on top of a two-beam pedestal representing the WTC and around it will be 3,000 stainless steel butterflies -- one for each life lost. Once completed, the memorial sculpture will stand 17-feet tall.

While the project's conception is complete, the community is far from breaking ground and in need of donations. To date, the department has raised $8800 or $60,000 needed. Organizers hope to have the 9/11 Memorial Project completed by September 11, 2015.

Anyone can donate by sponsoring a butterfly for $20 each. More donation information can be found here.