This piece of the World Trade Center will be the centerpiece of a planned 911 memorial in the city of Oak Forest. | Nick Swedberg~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 23, 2014 12:17PM
A remnant of the World Trade Center will serve as the centerpiece for a planned 9/11 memorial in Oak Forest.
A nine-person committee made up of representatives from Oak Forest’s emergency and public works departments met for one year to create the memorial, which will be built north of the gazebo on Oak Forest’s municipal campus.
The display will give people who visit a chance to reflect on those who died as a result of the attack at the World Trade Center buildings and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2011, said Darlene Milanowicz, project manager and assistant director of Public Works.
“Our lives can change instantly,” Milanowicz said. “There are a lot of people who give up their lives to help the community.”
Oak Forest’s artifact from the New York site will sit inside two pentagons that make up the memorial. The outer pentagon will be made of stamped concrete and the inner shape will have native grasses. An entrance and the five points of the outer pentagon will be lighted by square LED lights.
The trade center remnant was procured in 2012 by Oak Forest Mayor Hank Kuspa with help from former state Sen. Maggie Crotty and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. It is on display inside the Oak Forest City Hall, 15440 S. Central Ave
Construction is expected to begin after Memorial Day and continue over the summer. A dedication is planned for Sept. 11.
The Oak Forest Services Corp., which was created in 1980 to help fund improvements to the city, is providing the money for the project. While the total cost of the project is $45,000, a portion of the money will be used to upgrade the electrical system around the memorial and to replace the roof of the gazebo.