9/11 Artifacts on Display at Mount Union

February 23, 2012

The University of Mount Union’s Department of Engineering and Department of Art are working collaboratively with the City of Alliance to create a conceptual design for a 9/11 memorial from two artifacts that were secured from the former Twin Towers. Once finished, the memorial will be displayed at the corner of State Street and Liberty Avenue in Memorial Park in Alliance. In an effort to raise awareness for the memorial, the 9/11 artifacts are currently on display in the Hoover-Price Campus Center on Mount Union’s campus through Friday, February 24. The project is being coordinated through the University’s Ralph and Mary Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement.
 
9/11 Artifacts
While the rules set up by the New Jersey / New York Port Authority state that only one item of artifact would be granted, when they reviewed the City of Alliance’s application and display concept, it granted two artifacts. Most winning communities were only granted one item of artifact.
 
On August 31, then Alliance Mayor Toni Middleton and John Gross, who at the time was head of the city’s Planning Commission and Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Board, brought the two artifacts to the City of Alliance. The artifacts are aluminum skim that encased the windows of the South Tower, and both aluminum pieces are 13 feet in length, the height of each story of the Twin Towers. In fact, one can see the glass shards in the rubber seals on the edges of the artifacts.
 
These two artifacts were recovered from the area of the South Tower debris field and were removed to the Fish Kills search and identification site on Staten Island. Both the Twin Towers site and the Fish Kills site were declared “crime scenes” and the Fish Kills site remains so to this very day. These two particular artifacts were selected with approximately 2,000 other pieces to become memorials to be appropriately displayed in communities that have been selected to receive them.
 
After canvassing the city about where the memorial should be located, the decision was made to put it in Memorial Park.  The cost for construction is estimated at $5,000. Fund-raising efforts are still underway as taxpayer dollars will not be used for its completion. Gross hopes to dedicate the memorial on Memorial Day in 2012. Gross also noted that the memorial will include the name of Col. William Ruth, an Alliance native who died in the attack of the Pentagon.
 
Department of Art
The 9/11 Memorial project is being presented as a graded project for both Sculpture I (AR 220) and
Design I (AR 110). The projects for both courses will involve the understanding (through research
and documentation) of monuments and memorials as venues for public awareness of worthy events and/or people. 
 
The effort also seeks to address the specific concerns and information surrounding the events of 9/11 and the Trade Center Towers and particularly the two artifacts from the Trade Center Towers. 
 
Students will develop drawings for their vision of what the memorial should be and then work collaboratively with Robert Buganski, chair of Mount Union’s Department of Art and associate professor of art, their fellow classmates and the Department of Engineering to finalize a proposal (or proposals) for the City of Alliance to review for fabrication and installation.
 
Department of Engineering
Sophomore students in the Department of Engineering are participating in the development of Alliance’s 9/11 Memorial project as well.  In their role, they will analyze the structural integrity of the design developed by students of the Department of Art using content learned in Statics and Dynamics (EG 210). Engineering students will then help with fabrication and installation of the memorial.
 
Engineering faculty members will analyze the foundation and the supporting structure before finalizing the design. The students and faculty will collaborate with the Department of Art to choose a final proposal and further collaborate with the City of Alliance to fabricate and install the memorial.
 
For more information on the 9/11 memorial, contact the Ralph and Mary Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement at Mount Union at (330) 823-3296.

9/11 Artifacts

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