CAP uses twin towers beam to create 9/11 memorial

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The Community Arts Project in Ocean City is creating a 9/11 memorial in front of the Sixth Street Fire house using a steel beam from the World Trade Center. The Community Arts Project in Ocean City is creating a 9/11 memorial in front of the Sixth Street Fire house using a steel beam from the World Trade Center.

OCEAN CITY — When the city was offered a piece of an I-beam recovered from the World Trade Center, city officials vowed to create a meaningful tribute to freedom and to the thousands who were killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

A year later, thanks to the Community Arts Project, a fitting homage will be in place by the 11th anniversary of the day terrorists crashed airplanes into the twin towers.

Concrete for the base of a soon-to-be-unveiled statue was poured last week at the Ocean City Fire Headquarters at Sixth Street where the sculpture will stand. Sculptor Jose Chora will soon begin to work with the treasured steel.

“We’re very excited about this,” said Leslie Skibo, president of CAP. “I call this statue ‘strength within chaos,’ that’s what it looked like to me.”

Skibo said the statue is difficult to put into words.

“It’s very hard to describe,” she said. “There are is a piece in the middle and rods that come up from the perimeter.

“It’s going to be amazing. With a light shining on it, it’s going to cast really neat shadows at night. The piece of the I-beam is in the center, with the large rods on the side converging up on it. Some of the rods touch; some do not.”

Chora, of Chora Leone in Somers Point, created about 10 designs and CAP members selected about four of them to take to Mayor Jay Gillian for approval.

“The mayor asked us to make something nice out of it and I think we did,” Skibo said.

Members of the Brick Layers and Allied Craft Workers of New Jersey donated all of the labor and materials for the concrete foundation.

“They did all of the work for it, dedicated their time, gave us the materials,” Skibo said. “I think that’s wonderful. I think it was really neat that everyone we contacted was willing to help.”

Richard Tolson, president of the union, said his men have donated time and materials for about two dozen such projects in New Jersey.

“It’s a very worthy cause, we are happy to help,” he said. “We are pleased to help make something of the original I-beam. The World Trade Center was built with union labor, and union labor helped make this something really nice.”

Tolson said he heard about the project from a “dear friend,” Rody O’Rourke who is a member of CAP.

“She suggested we work with CAP on this and I said we would be happy to do whatever they needed,” Tolson said, adding that Network Construction, another group of union contractors, helped with the project, as well.

“This is another example of union members or organized labor giving back,” he said. “It’s a pretty interesting design, and it’s quite impressive. The artist did a nice job; I think everyone will be pleased.”

Tolson said his members are scheduled to return and finish the sidewalk surrounding the statue after the artist completes his work.

Skibo said Chora also designed “Joy,” a new sculpture outside the Community Center.

“He’s very talented,” she said.

There will be a formal dedication of the sculpture on Sept. 11, 2012.


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