Ill. fire department to receive 9/11 artifact

The fire department plans to incorporate the piece of steel into a memorial outside of a fire station

By Tara García Mathewson
The Chicago Daily Herald

CARPENTERSVILLE, Ill. — Fire Chief John Schuldt wrote a letter in 2009 on behalf of the Carpentersville Fire Department requesting an artifact from the World Trade Center. He mailed it to New York thinking it was worth a shot, but he would probably never hear back. As it turns out, Schuldt was wrong.

The village board unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night agreeing to a change of ownership between Carpentersville and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The village recently found out it was chosen as one of the lucky applicants — out of more than 900,000 — to get a piece of the towers.

The village will receive a piece of steel, which the fire department plans to incorporate into a memorial outside of Fire Station 1 at 213 Spring St.

"A small but classy arrangement," Schuldt said.

No village funds will be used for the monument so Schuldt and the fire department will be accepting donations. Money can be sent to the fire department care of Village Hall, 1200 L.W. Besinger Drive. Donors should make sure to specify the money is for the memorial.

At this point, planning is still in its conceptual stages — since no one in the village expected to hear anything back after the initial request — but Schuldt said he has an idea of what he would like to see.

The idea is to make a curbed grassy area for a ground-based flagpole with a brick pillar. A bronze fire helmet will rest on top of the pillar with the steel artifact piercing through the brick. A plaque will be displayed in honor of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, as well as all the firefighters who have served and continue to do so in the village of Carpentersville. The plaque will also identify exactly wherein the World Trade Center the steel piece came from.

There is still no cost estimate for the entire project and Schuldt doesn’t know how long the department will need to raise the funds to cover it, but he said he hopes the memorial will be in place by 2015 for the 100 year anniversary of the fire department.

Village President Ed Ritter expects the memorial will become a source of pride for the community.

"It will be something that people will stop to see," Ritter said.

Copyright 2011 Paddock Publications, Inc.

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