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Preview of Springfield’s 9/11 Monument Slated for Today in Florence

FLORENCE — In the Northampton hamlet of Florence, craftspeople have been working to transform a large section of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center in New York City into a remarkable tribute to first responders who gave their lives saving others on Sept. 11, 2001. Today, July 10, at 11 a.m., supporters of Springfield’s September 11th Monument will visit Salmon Studios at 28 North Maple St. in Florence for a special preview of the memorial.

The World Trade Center artifact, given to the Spirit of Springfield by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is one of the largest steel remnants of the devastating terrorist attack. It is significant in size and meaning, and its use in this memorial will be unique among the nation’s 9/11 tributes. The monument was designed by Modvic and is being fabricated by Salmon Studios. The nine-and-a-half-foot-tall I-beam will stand vertically in front of a bronze wall which will have the names of first-responder heroes engraved on it. At night, the artifact will cast the shadow of the Twin Towers on the wall and names.

Members of the fundraising committee, chaired by Frank Colaccino, president of the Colvest Group, will be joined by Officer Joseph Gentile, president of International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 364, and Lt. Drew Piemonte, president of the International Assoc. of Firefighters Local 648.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno serves as the honorary chair of Springfield’s September 11th Monument committee. It is co-chaired by  John Barbieri, Springfield Police commissioner, and Bernard Calvi, Springfield Fire commissioner. Members of Springfield’s September 11th Monument fundraising committee are Colaccino; Matthew Bannister, PeoplesBank; Anthony Cignoli, A.L. Cignoli Co.; Charlie Arment, Charlie Arment Trucking; Sheila Doiron, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts; Dennis Duquette, MassMutual Foundation; Jason Freeman, Six Flags Entertainment Corp.; Kyle Houser, Val-Pak Western Massachusetts; Paul Phaneuf, St. Pierre-Phaneuf Funeral Chapels; Jason Rucker, MGM Springfield; Chris Russell, Springfield Business Improvement District; and CMSgt. Maryanne Walts, 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base.

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