New Paltz is getting closer to having a 9/11 memorial park. It will be located on the grounds outside Fire Station Two on North Putt Corners Road, where there is currently a “Tree of Remembrance” planted to honor 9/11 victims. That tree was planted by New Paltz resident Butch Dener and his friend, the late Carmine Liberta, in 2002, and funds were raised to place a commemorative plaque into the ground by the tree.
Last year, Dener worked with the New Paltz Fire Department to acquire an artifact from the World Trade Center site. While awaiting approval of their request, they learned that a police department in Rockland County had given the New Paltz Police Department a scarred and burned stanchion that had been out in front of the north tower plaza. And now that the New Paltz Fire Department is in possession of a piece of twisted structural steel from one of the beams in the towers, the two artifacts are slated to be mounted on pedestals in a formal 9/11 memorial park setting outside the fire station.
Rick Alfandre of Alfandre Architecture has designed a dignified site plan that incorporates the mounted artifacts and a large flag of honor detailing the names of all who perished, to be displayed with the original commemorative plaque from the site. Kurt Wulfmeyer and Chris Powers of KC Fabrications of Gardiner have come on board to do the bases; they built the parapets at the National Memorial at the World Trade Center. Mark Masseo of Masseo Landscape has also volunteered to work on the project, with a paved patio and landscaping with benches for contemplation in mind for the project.
All that’s needed now to go ahead with the project is funding. Rich Croce Jr. of Viking Industries recently presented a $500 check to the 9/11 memorial project to kick off the community/business/corporate sponsorships. Anybody from the community who wishes to donate to the memorial park can mail a check to the New Paltz Fire Department at P.O. Box 656, New Paltz, NY 12561. “9/11 Memorial” should be written on the memo line. Donations are tax deductible.