The Liberty Corner Fire Company has been planning and laying the groundwork for more than a year to create and construct a 9/11 firefighters memorial that will be dedicated in a ceremony at noon this Sunday, Sept. 11, at the firehouse on Church Street in Liberty Corner.
The memorial, created mostly by firefighters with assistance of some professionals who discounted and donated services and materials, was nearly complete at the beginning of last week.
One question left hanging, according to Marc Friedman, the company's first assistant chief, was whether 50 or 500 people will show up on Sunday. Friedman said several nearby firefighting organizations, including those from Far Hills-Bedminster and Bernardsville, have said they would attend the dedication ceremony, he said.
Bernards Mayor John Malay is scheduled to speak at the ceremony. Friedman said some sort of refreshments likely will be served afterward.
Earlier in the year, the fire company announced it was privileged to receive a piece of steel from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The requirement was that the metal be used for a memorial that will be dedicated to emergency responders.
The centerpiece of the memorial will be a replica of the concrete stairs used by the firefighters to ascend the towers, on top of which will be placed the steel, according to the fire company website.
The plaques on the stairs will include quotations from the radio transmissions of the FDNY members as they headed into the towers prior to their collapse, Friedman said.
Alongside the stairs will be two walkways in the shape of the towers, containing 343 bricks. The number represents the 343 FDNY firefighters who gave their lives in the terrorist attack, the Liberty Corner Fire Co. website said.
The back of the staircase will display artwork created by students from Ridge High School, according to the fire company.
In order to fund the project, the fire company has announced it is selling memorial bricks to the public. Friedman and Fire Chief Peter Aprahamian this week said bricks still are available for purchase.
Bricks can be inscribed and reinstalled following the ceremony, Friedman pointed out.
The purchaser can have the brick inscribed with a message and/or a name. The bricks are being offered at $100 each, and all of the proceeds will be used for the memorial, according to a public announcement from the fire company.
More information on purchasing a brick for the memorial, and to purchase a brick, is available by downloading, completing and returning the 9/11 Memorial Brick Order Form, according to the Liberty Corner Fire Company website.
Donations will be accepted for the memorial from those who wish to do so, but do not want to purchase a brick, said Don Gazzale, spokesman for the fire company.