Skip to comments.Statue Will Salute Bravest Flag Raisers
Posted on 12/22/2001 1:19:33 AM PST by kattracks
A statue inspired by three firefighters who raised the American flag amid the rubble of the World Trade Center was unveiled yesterday, with officials saying it will serve as a permanent symbol of their bravery and strength.
Mayor Giuliani called the photograph of Firefighters Dan McWilliams, George Johnson and Billy Eisengrein raising the flag Sept. 11 one of most inspirational he'd ever seen. The photo became the basis for the statue, a full-scale clay model of which was displayed near Fire Department Headquarters in Brooklyn yesterday.
"It showed even on that first day, the spirit of America was not only alive, but the spirit of America was soaring over the the evil deeds that were done to us," said Giuliani.
The three firefighters, he said, "were raising that flag simply because they knew it was the right thing to do. In so doing, they brought honor to their department, their city, their nation, and in a way they probably never know at the time, lifted immediately the spirits of the entire county."
The statue, "Flag-Raising at Ground Zero," will be cast in bronze and is expected to be installed at the MetroTech complex in April.
"This is a monument to the bravery of firefighters both living and dead," said Bruce Ratner, president and CEO of Forest City Ratner, which developed MetroTech and is paying the bulk of the $180,000 cost of the statue. "It is testament to their bravery, courage and good deeds."
Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen noted that the developer is also underwriting the $125,000 cost of adding the names of the 343 members of the Fire Department who died at the twin towers to the FDNY Honor Roll.
Those names will be inscribed on bronze plaques in the next 60 days. Located in the lobby of Fire Department Headquarters, the honor roll contains the names of the 777 firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty before Sept. 11.
The city also announced yesterday that the emergency service workers who went beyond the call of duty Sept. 11 will be honored on street banners along the Canyon of Heroes.
As many as 800 giant images featuring firefighters, police officers and other uniformed service workers will begin appearing along Broadway in the next few weeks.
The banners, sponsored by NYC & Co., will feature the Web site for the Twin Towers Fund, the charity established by Giuliani to support the families of victims of the World Trade Center attacks.
"The message of this new street banner campaign is clear: We thank those who dedicate their lives to our safety. We salute our heroes," said Cristyne Nicholas, president of NYC & Co., part of the city's official tourism and marketing agency
A statue of three firefighters raising the American flag at the Twin Towers is unveiled at Fire Headquarters in Brooklyn.
I work near Ground Zero and saw the first memorial on City Hall Grounds which was a large poster board collage with letters to Mayor Guiliani, notes from schoolchildren, etc. This was on my way to work so, of course, I walk in with mascara tracks on my cheeks (it's a good thing I am not so heavy with the mascara wand today ...) There are many of these kinds of collages lower on Broadway. Interestingly enough, there are also several "prayer stations" for each Broadway block where volunteers at tables will pray with you and offer literature.
On a lighter (and more irrelevant note) I noticed a young actor on the "Young and the Restless" was wearing a flag pin! YAY!
It seems that at the request of "Fire Department officials," the ethnicities of the depicted firemen were changed from white (which the actual firemen all were) to three different ethnicities.
Here's the story from Newsday which appeared on Dec. 22:
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