Minntac Employees Dedicate September 11 Memorial
The employees of U. S. Steel's Minnesota Ore Operations (Minntac) will reflect on the tragedies of September 11, tomorrow, as they hold a special dedication ceremony to unveil a memorial constructed in honor of the victims of last year's terrorist attacks. The memorial includes actual steel recovered from Ground Zero in New York City. Following eight months of hard work, the monument, created and designed by a group of Minntac employees, now sits at the plant's entrance.
At an employee meeting early this year, Greg Suhonen, an ironworker at Minntac, presented the idea of building a memorial in honor of the victims of September 11, and the group discussed their thoughts with other coworkers. They approached Minntac General Manager Jim Swearingen with their intentions, and he immediately gave them his consent to undertake the project. "The people of the Iron Range have always been very patriotic, and the events of September 11 had a profound effect on us," said Swearingen. "It's an honor for me to represent these employees who dedicated so much time and effort to complete this meaningful memorial in time for the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks."
The monument consists of four, 18-foot-tall stainless steel towers and two pentagon-shaped structures that stand atop a six-sided wooden base, which has "September 11, 2001" inscribed on each side. The monument has a 360-degree design, allowing the `twin towers' and `pentagon' to be viewed from all sides. Debris, made of scrap steel, concrete and specular hematite -- a glass-like mineral, is scattered across the base to represent the wreckage in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa. The debris field contains lights that highlight the memorial, and lights inside the towers shine up toward the sky. A 30-foot-tall flagpole flying the American flag rises from the middle of the four towers, and a solid, 4,500-pound concrete base secures the monument in place.
Serving as a tangible link between the monument and the events of September 11 are the two pieces of structural steel procured from the salvage operations at the World Trade Center site. Anthony Yeley, a buyer in the Purchasing Department, worked with the Emergency Management Office in New York City to obtain the pieces for the project. This steel supports the dedication plaque and surrounds the monument's towers.
As the project neared completion, Dean Malenius, a mine analyst at Minntac and the designer of the monument, marveled at the teamwork and generosity of everyone involved with the memorial. "We had no problem getting support for this project, from top management to all who contributed their time and money," said Malenius. "The final product perfectly represents what I had envisioned it to be."
The dedication ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 6, and will be led by Jim Swearingen. The general public is invited to attend. Participants in the ceremony include: the Mt. Iron VFW and local ROTC, who will conduct the presentation of the flag; Steven Bauer, department manager of labor relations and productivity improvement, who will sing the Star Spangled Banner; Steven Pellinen, who will play Taps; and Pastor Kristin Foster, who will lead in prayer.
EDITORS' ADVISORY: Date: September 6, 2002 Time: 10:00 a.m. CDT Place: U. S. Steel's Minntac Plant What: Minntac employees dedicate September 11 memorial
CONTACT: John Skube, +1-218-749-7244, or John Armstrong, +1-412-433-6792, both of U.S. Steel
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SOURCE: U. S. Steel
Web site: http://www.ussteel.com/
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