December 20, 2001

Memorial Statue Honors Heroes

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“September 12” is the title of the sculpture that previously resided in DeWitt Park, portraying lower Manhattan shortly after hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, killing thousands.

The four-ton exhibit featured more than a dozen photographs taken by Bill Keokosky, a 57-year-old Ithaca contractor who volunteered as an on-site rescue and recovery worker in New York City for several days after the attacks.

His snap shots are not staged or meant to be a piece of photojournalism but run as a series of unadulterated views of the site where crews worked around the clock, according to the artist.

Attached to jagged metal plates held up by mangled steel beams — reminiscent of those in the Trade Center wreckage — the photographs rise above a triangular base filled with construction rubble that looks as if it could have come from the collapse.

An American flag sits on top of the structure, and the exhibit is illuminated by harsh construction lights like those used at “Ground Zero.”

The sculpture was donated to the Red Cross and now sits in a warehouse. It will probably move to a museum, according to Keokosky.

The art piece took nearly two weeks to create, and Keokosky worked with more than a dozen friends. A similar but larger sculpture was installed in Philadelphia and is now touring the country.

Archived article by Jennifer Roberts