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9-11 memorial concept remains up for grabs!

November 20, 2015


This monument concept is dedicated to those who perished on 9/11/2001 to honor those we lost. It is intended so that we may grace those sacrificed with the power to inspire cooperation.

In 2010, the city of Birmingham Michigan entertained the idea of commissioning a sculptural monument for a 9/11 memorial to adorn Shane Park. Someone had generously offered to donate the funds to purchase metal from the wreckage of the Twin Towers for use in its construction. Shortly thereafter, the local paper wrote about comments made regarding the controversial/morbid over-tones that some felt associated with this metal (I too openly supported that notion).

In an effort to be considered for this commission, I modeled the following bas-relief sculpture titled “The Cooperative Pursuit of Enlightenment” also referred to as “The Communion of Saints” in clay, Furthermore, I composed the following design that incorporated this Twin Tower metal (or other twisted metal) and a statement in preparation to address the city’s art council with a proposal. At the scheduled 3/17/2010 meeting, it was immediately announced forthright, that a piece of the Twin Tower metal would be purchased and displayed at a local firehouse with a plaque in lieu of the commission. Needless to say, I never got to present the following:

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For a period of time, from out of the sympathy we felt towards all those directly effected; many of us experienced a subtle yet somewhat surreal under-current of heightened empathy towards one another. This silver lining was real, uniting each of us together under its empathetic umbrella –a powerful and significant result of sharing together in the pain and disillusionment that followed in the aftermath of 9/11/2001.

To sum up this vantage point, one need only recall this quiet but powerful underlying current so many of us felt when interacting with others durring the immediate aftermath of the 9-11 tragedy. As a result of this wound, there was this air of forbearance, a deeply seated sense of interconnectedness, and a longing to be a part of it. Furthermore, there was a deep-seated need to project it on to others; and that is exactly what we did. For a time, all that divided melted away, allowing the nature of our brethren to flood over into subtle kindnesses like letting one another in and out of traffic and listening to one another with a deeper sense of empathy.

It’s not as though this is not inherent to us anyway; but the unified loss of these people brought this undercurrent to the surface in such a way, that it arose to the point where we could almost coddle it. However, because we couldn’t we could only honor it by extending it on to others.

This is the manner in which these unfortunate people served us, and if we so choose to honor their loss in this way… they may go on to serve us still. Personally I found these feelings of empathy to be the one blessing that arose from this tragedy, something that I have come to acknowledge as immensely positive… That which I equate with the white dove we associate with the love and peace that leads to compassion and that which we can only discover through the liberation of realizing that: The delivery from the bonds of anger, hatred and its perpetual evils (retaliation) lies solely within the hearts each of us. Therefore, if we can choose to embrace this vision, it provides the opportunity to turn this devastation into an opportunity to liberate ourselves from these bonds and replace them with the noble spirit of camaraderie that so powerfully moves us toward our higher calling.

Ultimately we must choose between honoring the destructive forces that focus on the negativity that caused it, or reinforce initiatives that inspire us to overcome these root causes. The question is, do we want to associate ourselves with the victim persona by demonizing others or empower ourselves through a high minded nurturing principle that casts a heroic light upon the loss of our fallen brothers and sisters?

By focusing on a “nurturing” relationship between us (that which the loss of these people has brought to our consciousness) bestows a nobly inspiring purpose to their sacrifice. From the way I see it, It seems clear to me that; the way in which we choose to honor their demise (be it through either the influential forces of love or those of hate) this choice will ultimately define ourselves as a society.

This monumental concept (like so much of my work) remains in search of the necessary support I need in order to realize these visions as public forums so they may reach out and inspire others. In that light, I appreciate all forms of support financial and otherwise!


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