Plans Coming Together For First Responders Memorial

OAK LAWN, Ill. (WBBM) — In Oak Lawn Wednesday night, the public will get to see, for the first time, drawings of a monument that will be built in honor of first responders everywhere.

The California bronze sculptor will craft the First Responders Memorial will reveal two drawings—one of a $50,000 memorial, the other of a $100,000 dollar memorial. Spokesman John Zawaski says the amount of donations will determine which drawing is used for the final project.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the planned memorial started out as a way to honor police officers and firefighters who had given their all nearly 10 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001. Now, though, it is intended to honor first responders everywhere – even as far away as Japan.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Four beams from the World Trade Center are to be used in the memorial, which will be crafted along 95th Street near the Oak Lawn Metra station.

“Anyone who comes to Chicago can jump on the Metra for 4 bucks, and go to the Oak Lawn stop and see this memorial. You’ll see this monument from the train,” Zawaski said.

Bronze sculpture Eric Blome moved his family from California to the Chicago area so he could construct the memorial.

One person who was key in obtaining the beams from the World Trade Center, Oak Lawn police Lt. Art Clark, will not be on hand. He is serving his fourth tour of duty as a marine colonel in Afghanistan.

The unveiling of the memorial drawings will be at 7:30 near the 95th Street Metra station.

For more information and, after tonight, pictures of the two possible memorial sketches, visit

  • NiceGesture

    As the police and firefighters are being castigated as bad guys because of pensions funds that were under-funded by the elected officials throughout the years, I guess they take some solace in knowing they may be memorialized?

  • M. Monson

    That’s my cousin! He’s awesome!

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