Nearly a decade ago, lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks. Now, as the 10th anniversary of that tragic day approaches, one local group is working to make sure those victims will stay in the hearts and minds of the community.
The Newton 9-11 Memorial Committee formed in early May to establish memorial in that would recognize and honor those local victims who were killed in the attacks. With the approval of local veterans, the Parks & Recreation Department and support from the community, the committee is on its way to the groundbreaking goal of Sept. 11, 2011.
"Everything is just falling into place," said Waban resident and committee member Sande Young.
Young explained that the idea for the memorial came from a similar memorial in Acton, .
But the design for the Newton site, Young said, will be decided from a batch of pro bono submissions from local architects. The competition is seeking submissions from Massachusetts registered architects or landscape architects until July 1.
Design submissions can be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and should include in the subject heading “Newton 9-11 design competition”. For more specifications and information on how to submit a design, check out the committee's site.
Young emphasized that the memorial construction and maintenance will be funded 100 percent through donations and not listed as a line item in the city budget. Recently, the website received an online "donate" button, allowing people to pitch in for the memorial via PayPal.
The committee is considering the memorial's site to be somewhere near the City Hall War Memorial, which meant it needed to the blessing of local veterans.
"[The veterans] are playing a supporting role," said Newton Veterans Service Officer John MacGillivray. "We feel those [9/11 victims] did give their lives in defense of their country."
MacGillivray explained that the Newton 9-11 Memorial Committee has been "very sensitive" to the memorials already established in City Hall and that they are working toward a Sept. 11 memorial that will not interfere or clash with those sites honoring local veterans.
"It’s a great sense of cooperation and understanding and the veterans reciprocate that," MacGillivray said. "We’re going to help in every way that we can."
Young said a member of the Veterans Council will serve on the Newton 9-11 Memorial Committee along with other local officials and members from the Fire and Police Departments.
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Bob DeRubeis said last week the Parks & Recreation Commission has been made aware of the committee and will also play a supporting role as things move along. Eventually, he said, the commission will have to approve of any design that comes through.
"The time frame is tight," DeRubeis said, noting the committee's goal to break ground by the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.
Nevertheless, the 26 committee members are motivated. The group has already held multiple meetings and received a non-profit tax identification number, Young said.
The committee is scheduled to meet at City Hall on July 5 with local officials to discuss the design submissions.
To donate to the memorial or for more information on the committee, visit their website.