Panel OKs permanent site for 9/11 memorial

Parks and Recreation commissioners have agreed upon a permanent site for the World Trade Center I-beam Memorial, which was temporarily installed in September near the Pony Express Pavilion at the east end of Mills Park.

If the Board of Supervisors OKs the recommendation, a permanent installation would be made north of the Firefighter's Memorial within a grassy area of the park's Seely Loop.

Commission member Molly Walt said Wednesday commissioners felt that since the monument's design has not yet been determined, the open space afforded at the selected site made sense.

"There's plenty of room there, and it would still be visible from Highway 50, but in a quieter setting than in front of the community center," Walt said.

It also seemed an appropriate site choice since the Firefighter's Memorial was in the same vicinity, she said, "but each would have its own identity."

Jim Shirk, a member of the Carson City Cultural Commission, worked for more than a year to obtain a piece of history that could forever stand as a memorial in Nevada's capital city to those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

Once the I-beam was secured from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Shirk worked just as feverishly to ensure that it would be installed for the 10th anniversary in September of the World Trade Center tragedy.

A dedication, official unveiling and memorial ceremony drew hundreds to the Pony Express Pavilion that day.

Shirk said Wednesday that he has petitioned the Cultural Commission to solicit artist renderings from the community for the monument's design.

"I did what I had to do for the 10-year anniversary, but we owed the community the opportunity to be a part of this, to have a hand in this," he said. "It's time for this to move away from Jim Shirk and move toward the Cultural Commission and the Arts Council."

Getting the relic to where it sits today wasn't easy. After months of phone calls and waiting for word from the Port Authority, Shirk learned that his request - along with letters of support from Mayor Bob Crowell, Supervisor Shelly Aldean, Sheriff Ken Furlong and Fire Chief Stacey Giomi - had been granted.

And in June, the twisted 1,600-pound I-beam finally arrived in Carson City on a flatbed 18-wheeler. With help from dozens of individuals, businesses and organizations, the I-beam was in place in time for the 10-year anniversary.

The three other sites considered for permanent placement were its present location at the east end of Mills Park, the southeast corner of Roop and William streets near the north end of the community center parking lot and directly in front of the community center between the two trees on the lawn.

For more information, email Shirk at ilovecarsoncity@gmail.comor call 775-720-5761.


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