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9-11 Beams Headed For Oak Lawn

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World Trade Center Beams

Steel beams from the World Trade Center were loaded onto a truck on Dec. 16, 2010, to be taken to Oak Lawn for a 9-11 memorial. (Credit: monumentaloaklawn.com)

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OAK LAWN, Ill. (STMW/WBBM) - Beams from the wreckage of the World Trade Center will be incorporated into a monument southwest suburban Oak Lawn plans to erect to honor the first responders to the 9-11 attacks on the New York skyscrapers.

Four steel beams are on their way from a storage facility in New York and are expected to arrive in Oak Lawn on Saturday, village manager Larry Deetjen said.

Volunteers from the village’s police and fire departments are escorting the truck that is transporting the beams along Interstate 80, Deetjen said.

The 30,000 pounds of steel will be put in storage until work on the monument begins.

The monument, which the village plans to locate near the Metra station and the Oak Lawn Children’s Museum, also will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. The village hopes the monument will be finished by next September.

“We like the location. It will be visible from the train,” Deetjen said. “Our goal is to have it completed, constructed and dedicated on or about Sept. 11.”

The monument will be designed and created by San-Francisco-based sculptor Erik Blome. His work includes the Chicago Blackhawks’ 75th anniversary monument outside the United Center as well as life-size bronze sculptures of Rosa Parks in downtown Dallas and Martin Luther King Jr. in Milwaukee.

Blome will join students he is instructing at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in designing the monument.

Some of the students will make a trip to Oak Lawn at the university’s expense to survey the site the village has chosen. The school also has donated $3,000 toward the project.

The project is a collaborative effort between the village, the Oak Lawn fire and police departments and the Oak Lawn Rotary Club.

The Rotary Club will oversee fundraising for the project to commemorate its 50th anniversary in Oak Lawn.

The project is expected to cost between $20,000 and $30,000, and no village funds are being expended, Deetjen said. The village is getting the steel beams at no charge.

“We are committed as a Rotary Club to raising the money,” club official Sandy Bury said.

The club has set a $20,000 fundraising goal.

“We’ve set a humble goal. We know we’ll reach that. We really want to knock it out of the park,” Bury said.

An anonymous resident has already donated $2,000 toward the project, Deetjen said.

More information at monumentaloaklawn.com/

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. WBBM contributed to this report.)

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