A committee organized by Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, with the help of Leadership Kitsap volunteers, is working on a 9/11 memorial project. The panel has identified 17 possible locations for the memorial. They hope to find a place for it in Silverdale.
SILVERDALE — Steel pulled from the rubble of the twin towers in New York will be part of a planned Sept. 11 memorial in Kitsap County.
Other parts of the memorial will represent the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania where the other hijacked planes crashed. But how those pieces fit together and where to build them is still unknown.
A committee organized by Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, with the help of Leadership Kitsap volunteers, is working on the project. The panel has identified 17 possible locations for the memorial. They hope to find a place for it in Silverdale.
“We believe these pieces will mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people,” said Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Roy Lusk. “We want it to be educational in nature; we don’t want people to forget what happened that day.”
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The memorial will be built using public donations and volunteer work. Community fundraisers are in the works, and a bank account has been established at Columbia State Bank of Tacoma, formerly American-Marine Bank, in Silverdale.
The hope is to create a site that is “long-lasting and thought-provoking,” and to make it accessible to everyone, Lusk said.
The committee has identified Silverdale Waterfront Park, specifically a stretch of land between the dock and Port of Silverdale’s boat launch, as a potential home. The site offers serenity for reflection with its views of Dyes Inlet and Mount Rainier, as well as easy access, Lusk said.
Because the port used federal grant money to develop the land in question, it needs to look into what uses are allowed by the grant requirements before making a decision, according to port attorney Phil Best.
“It’s a nice gesture, but we have to be careful of how we use the waterfront,” he said.
Initial ideas for the memorial include using the Trade Center pieces as an arch that people can walk under and touch. Leading from the arch would be granite slabs detailing a timeline of events told through the lives of people on the ground and in the buildings at the time.
Plans also include tiles decorated by local schoolchildren, a concrete pentagon shape to represent the military headquarters in Virginia, and an area representing the field in Pennsylvania.
“There’s a lot of symbolism,” said Carol Smiley, a memorial-committee member. “I think each individual can think of this in their own way and reflect. I just hope it’s going to be a special place for many, many people.”
Lusk hopes to have the memorial ready for the 10-year anniversary of the attacks — which is next year.