November 22, 2013
9/11 memorial graces Susquehanna campusHow does a piece of charred twisted metal from one of the nation's most horrific tragedies end up on Susquehanna's campus?
In 2009, David Richard, associate dean of the school of arts & sciences and professor of
biology, noticed an article in The New York Times. The article stated that The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was inviting police and fire departments and mayors and other leaders of cities and towns throughout the country to ask for pieces of the World Trade Center rubble.
Knowing the campus already had a Sept. 11 memorial, Richard thought it would be a
good idea for Susquehanna University to request a piece of the steel.
He approached Sara Kirkland, a senior vice president at the university, and she agreed
that it was a great idea as did other members of the administration. Kirkland went on to draft a letter to Christopher Ward, executive director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Kirkland explained in the letter: "Our goal would be to install the steel as an extension of a memorial erected on our campus in 2002. The memorial commemorates not only the two
young SU alumni we lost on September 11, 2001, in the collapse of the towers, but also the loss that our country suffered that day."
A photo of the memorial was enclosed with the letter and Kirkland also added, "The
memorial is a highly visible and cherished space on our campus."
The Port Authority granted the request to the university and provided a link to a website
with thousands of pieces to choose from.
Kirkland said, "It was interesting to review online the photos of many of the pieces, some
of which were enormous." The university worked with architects from Derck & Edson of Lititz to determine the placement of the steel.
Chris Bailey, director of facilities management for the university, said, "After Derck & Edson reviewed the placement of the steel, I came up with the idea to mount it above the ground, at an angle and tilted forward."
He awaited the arrival of the piece, which came by common carrier and weighed approximately 100 pounds.
With the piece in place, the university held a dedication service at the memorial site on
the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack.
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