[vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]BY MARIE PULEO, POMPANO BEACH NEWS REPORTER
A dedication ceremony for the 9/11 memorial that was recently installed in front of the Pompano Beach Historical Society building in Founders Park will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 5pm to 6:30pm at 217 NE 4th Avenue.
The memorial is a sculpture honoring the 343 first responders who died saving lives in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. A piece of steel from one of the fallen World Trade Center towers is at the heart of the sculpture. The Pompano Beach Fire Department acquired the steel artifact in 2014, and Fire Chief John Jurgle asked the city’s Public Art Committee to use it as a public art project.
South Florida artist Cherie Saleeby was commissioned to create the memorial, which is entitled “Unbroken Spine, A book of American Heroism.”
The square-shaped piece of steel from the towers, which resembles an open book, inspired the artist to design a sculpture that represents the spine of a bound book with glass pages. Etched onto the tempered glass pages are the names of all the first responders who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks that claimed almost 3,000 lives. At night, the etched names are illuminated with LED lighting.
For the spine of the book and the tapered base, Saleeby used Corten steel, which has a rust-like appearance that mimics the color of the steel fragment from the towers.
The right-hand page, which is numbered “Page 343,” references the number of “fallen heroes in a chapter of American history that will never be gotten,” said Saleeby, and the book’s spine “represents the backbone of the responders and their resolute courage.”
“I hope this sculpture provides a meaningful, intimate connection with the tragic events,” said Saleeby. “It is a dedication to those who chose to serve.”
Founders Park, located in Old Pompano, was chosen as the location for the sculpture because it is the site of the city’s first fire station. The fire station is now a museum operated by the Pompano Beach Historical Society, located just next door, and contains two antique fire engines, as well as photographs and artifacts relating to the history of firefighting in Pompano Beach.
As part of the dedication ceremony for the 9/11 memorial, the Historical Society will have a photo exhibit on loan from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York and the fire station will have a video honoring the first responders. The Fire Rescue Honor Guard will stand by while a local Boy Scout troop lowers the flag, accompanied by bagpiper Mike Nugent. Refreshments will be served at the Woman’s Cub across the street after the ceremony. The dedication ceremony is free and open to the public.
Following the dedication ceremony, the City of Pompano Beach and its Parks and Recreation Department will host a night of remembrance and recognition at 7pm at the Pompano Beach Cultural Center, located at 50 SW First Avenue. The ceremony will feature guest speakers, musicians and a special performance by the Fort Lauderdale Symphonic Winds 65-piece band. Admission is free; however, seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. The doors open at 6:30 pm.
For more information call 954-786-4111 or visit the City’s website at www.pompanobeachfl.gov.
Photos: Courtesy of the Pompano Beach Historical Society[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”8223,8226,8227,8225,8230,8229″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]