ANNAPOLIS, MD (November 23, 2010) — Governor O’Malley today officially accepted artifacts from World Trade Center in New York to Maryland. The twenty-two foot long artifact from the Twin Towers will be the centerpiece of the Maryland 9/11 memorial to be dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy - September 11, 2011.
“We are honored to accept an artifact from the Twin Towers as the core of our memorial,” said Governor O’Malley. “The completed monument will serve as a tribute to those that lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and the heroes who fought to save them. It will remind citizens and visitors alike that the events of that tragic day will never be forgotten.”
“Honoring the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11 is a tremendous comfort for the families of the fallen,” said James J. Laychak, President of the Pentagon Memorial Fund who lost his brother David Laychak in the attack on the Pentagon. “I know at the Pentagon, 43 of those lost were Maryland residents and we have received great support from many Maryland first responders and officials. I want to thank Governor O’Malley for his efforts and I look forward to the creation of this important memorial in Baltimore.”
Governor O’Malley has appointed Randall “Rand” Griffin as the chair of the Maryland 9/11 Memorial Advisory Committee. Griffin is the CEO of COPT – Corporate Office Properties Trust, and a member of the Maryland Commission on Public Art. The Advisory Committee, comprised of businesses, public safety personnel, artists, the victim’s families and other stakeholders, will oversee the project and make recommendations on the selection process, community engagement, and fund development to DBED and the Maryland State Arts Council. The memorial will be funded by private donations of funds and services.
“I would like to thank Rand for taking on this important project for the citizens of Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “His knowledge of how public art speaks to society will ensure that this memorial appropriately acknowledges the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom.”
“I am honored that I was asked to chair the Maryland 9/11 Memorial Advisory Committee,” said Griffin. “Public art creates spaces that bring people together and foster dialogue. We hope that the memorial created here will promote courage, unity and understanding and serve as an inspiration of peace for generations to come.”
The artifacts were escorted by Maryland State Police, Baltimore City Fire Department, and the Maryland National Guard on its trip through Maryland to Dundalk where it will be stored in the Marine Terminal until installation at the World Trade Center in Baltimore. Bowman Truck Leasing provided the in-kind donation of transport of the artifacts from New York City to Maryland.
The receiving ceremony included remarks by Governor O’Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, presentation of colors by the Maryland National Guard Honor Guard, a performance of the national anthem, an invocation by the Police Chaplain and a benediction by the Fire Chaplain; closing with Taps by MD National Guard Honor Guard member, Keith DeFontes. Family members of victims of the Pentagon attack were in attendance.
An artifact from the Twin Towers was requested by Governor O’Malley to be used as the focus of the Maryland 9/11 memorial. A steel artifact, consisting of three amalgamated steel beams, and a smaller steel artifact, were selected by a Maryland delegation when they visited the JFK Airport, which warehouses artifacts from the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. The delegation included members of the Maryland Commission on Public Art, the Maryland Port Administration and the Maryland State Arts Council, a part of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
A Request for Qualifications to those interested in creating the 9/11 Memorial was distributed to artists, architects and landscape designers nationally, closing on November 22, 2010. A selection committee will review the qualifications and choose finalists in January 2011. The finalist will present designs after meeting with various community sectors and neighborhoods, Pentagon families and others. The large artifact will be the focal point of the design and the smaller artifact part of a display in the World Trade Center’s Top of the World.
Maryland is the only state, other than New York, to request an artifact, although many local governments have also received artifacts.