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Newton 9-11 Memorial Committee Works to Keep Memory of Victims Alive

Design submissions for the memorial are due by the beginning of July.

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 ssyspts33@aol.com 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. 

George June 28, 2011 at 05:59 PM
Don't most of the city's commissions and Boards not meet in July and August? Is this a rush job which should have more appropriately been vetted over a year ago? It's a worthwhile cause deserving of more than a last minute afterthought but Newton's city gov may not be able to dance the cha-cha on a short string..
Suzanne Rourke July 01, 2011 at 07:39 PM
While the Newton 9-11 Memorial Committee has been hopeful that it could break ground in time for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack, we've also been respectful of city processes. Rules are in place for good reasons. The ground-breaking may well be delayed. We'd like to emphasize, however, the excellent support we've received so far from City Hall officials, the aldermen, and the veterans. They've all been great!
George July 18, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Grats on the selection of Sangiolo's plan. Has the 911 committee considered site placement ramifications for the memorial plaza? More than just a memorial, the plaza becomes a place to seek solace and reflection. Close enough to the northern entrance to cityhall, the underground smoker's network will be drawn away from the building and find solace in feeding the birds while catching their quick smoke break. Close enough to the woods of Lakeview, we can provide homeless shelter to Veterans. Newton does not have any homeless shelter listed on the web. - closest is Cambridge.

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