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WTC I-beam part of Schererville 9/11 memorial

Members Schererville Fire Department Honor Guard wait post colors start Schererville's 9/11 Memorial Program Monday evening. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times

Members of the Schererville Fire Department Honor Guard wait to post the colors at the start of Schererville's 9/11 Memorial Program Monday evening. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 12, 2012 6:20AM



More than a decade after terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, Schererville officials are ready to mount one of the I-beams salvaged from the wrecks in memory of the attacks.

Fire Chief Joseph Kruzan and Police Chief David Dowling led a ceremony Monday evening to commemorate the start of work on the memorial, but also to call out for more help in paying to complete the park, which will be located next to the Schererville Police Station at 25 E. Joliet.

“We’re here tonight because Schererville remembers,” Dowling told the crowd gathered in front of the police station, sitting next to a giant American flag being held aloft by two fire trucks.

So far, the town has raised almost $6,000 to pay for the park, enough to pour the cement that will anchor the beam. That work should take place in the next six weeks, Kruzan said. The town wants to eventually get mementos from the other sites hit during the Sept. 11 attacks, including from the Pentagon and the field where another plane went down in Pennsylvania, Kruzan said. The estimated total cost right now is about $10,000 to $15,000, the fire chief said, although it could change.

“Please don’t leave here thinking it’s all that far off in the distance,” Kruzan said of the completion of the park.

Don Bacso, a Dyer resident who was in the World Trade Center when the planes struck, called on people to donate money. He also promised people that the finished park would be a place where everyone could reflect on the attacks.

Kruzan cautioned people that the park would not be for playing and dog walking, but a place for people to come think and learn about the attacks.

He credited Chief Deputy Bob Patterson for getting the beam for Schererville, which the town has had for about a year now.

Patterson said a committee had been searching for a beam for some time, with no luck getting anything from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Then he found another fire department online that had received a beam, and they were able to put him in touch with the right person.

“I didn’t even know what to say,” Patterson said of when he got confirmation of the beam, adding that he had chills up his back.

The beam was on display Monday night, as was a conceptual drawing of what the beam will look like mounted.



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