Concrete executives united to construct the foundation of the historical 9/11 Memorial’s I-beam from the World Trade Center this week at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
The 3,000 pound I-beam from Tower One was delivered in 2011 to the sheriff’s office at 940 New Salem Highway. Since then, sheriff’s Deputy Greg Dotson has coordinated the drive to raise enough funds to complete the memorial by private donors. The project is expected to be finished by the 9/11 Memorial ceremony Sept. 11, 2012.
After reading a newspaper story about the project, President Jon Curtis of IMI of Middle Tennessee vowed to Dotson he would help.
“We’re going to finish it,” Curtis promised.
Executive Director Alan Sparkman of the Tennessee Concrete Association worked to secure Dusty and Sons Concrete of Spring Hill who set the foundation of the monument with gravel and form the levels and columns Tuesday. Owner Dustin Cornwall developed the idea of placing debris under the monument to simulate the Ground Zero effect.
“He said it was an honor for he and his business to help us with this project,” Dotson said of Cornwall. “He plans to bring his grandchildren to say, ‘this is what we helped to construct.’”
His son, Josh Cornwall, a graduate of MTSU’s Concrete Industry Management Program, envisioned coloring the monument’s top level and stamping. Cornwall is expected to finish the coloring of the columns and the top level April 26.
“He’s proud to be part of the project,” Dotson said of Cornwall. “He’s looking forward to being here when we unveil the monument Sept. 11.”
IMI, Metro Ready Mix and Smyrna Ready Mix donated about 45 yards of concrete to construct the three levels of the monument along with a sidewalk. The employees poured concrete for about 10 hours Wednesday.
Three MTSU students in the Concrete Industry Management Program worked with Sparkman to cut out both the handicapped and regular sidewalk.
Manager Jackie Beavers of the Murfreesboro IMI linked Dotson to John McFadden of the Tennessee Arbor Foundation to donate trees to the project. Pear, oak, pin oak, silver maple, walnut and pecan trees will be planted under McFadden’s guidance.
Eagle Scout Austin Janke will arrange the memorial garden.
Old Time Pottery donated a fountain in the garden, along with benches and urns.
Sheriff Robert Arnold said he appreciated the contributors and volunteers.
“It’s great people are still willing to volunteer for such a wonderful project,” Sheriff Arnold said. “It goes back to the volunteer spirit in Tennessee.”
Dotson said he looks forward to the project being completed. The sheriff’s office is still raising funds through the purchase of bricks at $50 for a 4-inch by 8-inch brick with 45 characters and $100 for an 8-inch by 8-inch brick with 90 characters. Also, challenge coins inscribed with the monument are on sale for $10. People may call Dotson at 904-3033.
“Flagpoles are of a great concern at this time,” Dotson said. “We need four 20-foot flagpoles. If anybody wants to donate a memorial flag or a flag to the cause, we will be happy to fly it.”