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updated: 8/13/2014 5:44 PM

Wauconda may display World Trade Center beam at park

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  • A crowd gathered at the Fox River in Algonquin in 2012 for the unveiling of a firefighter memorial that features a beam from the World Trade Center. Wauconda officials are discussing creating a heroes memorial with a beam in a local park.

       A crowd gathered at the Fox River in Algonquin in 2012 for the unveiling of a firefighter memorial that features a beam from the World Trade Center. Wauconda officials are discussing creating a heroes memorial with a beam in a local park.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer 2012

 
 

A beam from one of the fallen World Trade Center buildings could be put on display at a Wauconda park.

Mayor Frank Bart mentioned the plan in a recent electronic newsletter to residents. He envisioned a "Heroes of Freedom Memorial" at the village's Memorial Park, 309 S. Main St.

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Now Wauconda Park District officials are getting involved, saying they want to develop an appropriate exhibit for the historical artifact if it's going to be added to one of their sites.

During a park board meeting Tuesday night, several commissioners voiced concern about the timing of Bart's announcement, which was dated July 18.

"I thought maybe it was a different Memorial Park," board member Adam Schlick said.

Fellow board member Bob Cook called Bart's announcement "premature."

"I'd really like to see what it's going to look like," Cook said.

In an interview Wednesday, Bart said he wants to work with the park district and a church near Memorial Park to come up with the best option for a display.

It might wind up on village land near the adjacent police station, Bart said.

"None of it's decided," he said.

Beams and debris from the World Trade Center are on public display in Mundelein, Algonquin, Carol Stream, Carpentersville, Des Plaines and other suburbs.

The beam being eyed for Wauconda weighs 13,000 pounds and is about 18 feet long, officials said.

It already has been brought to Illinois and is being stored in Zion, Bart said in his newsletter.

Bart anticipated using a fundraising effort to pay for the public display of the beam. He said he'd like to dedicate a memorial on Sept. 11, 2015.

"It's a very patriotic community," he said.

Volunteers will be needed to create architectural drawings, engineering plans and a marketing campaign and for other tasks, Bart said.

Park District Director Nancy Burton said she'll serve on the volunteer committee.

To participate, email Bart at fbart@wauconda-il.gov.

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