HOISINGTON — The word is out – Bruce Bitter of B&B Metal Arts was chosen to create the World Trade Center memorials to be placed in seven Kansas airports to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
The memorial art pieces are being made of stainless steel and incorporate a section of I-beam that came from the World Trade Center in New York. The I-beam, an official artifact, was given to the Transportation Security Administration of Kansas. Memorial art pieces will be installed at the Wichita, Great Bend, Manhattan, Liberal, Dodge City, Garden City, and Hays airports. Bruce and Brent Bitter of B&B Metal Arts are donating their design and artist time.
TSA is allowing B&B Metal Arts to seek sponsors to pay for the materials and other out-of-pocket expenses required for the project. Companies wanting to support this memorial project, and have their names listed on the sponsor plaques, should contact Anita Hoffhines at 785-531-0160.
Sponsors in Great Bend can make their contributions through the Great Bend Community Foundation and will be tax deductible. The dedication of the memorial will be in September at the Great Bend airport. A preview of the memorial will be held on Aug.17 in Hoisington.
Martin Miller, Great Bend Airport, is excited about the project. "It’s an honor for the residents of central Kansas to receive an authentic piece of the World Trade Center to remind us of the devastation of 9/11. The Great Bend Airport will be proud to house this artifact at a special location inside the airport terminal building."
The memorials will be the first and only known air terminals in this country to publicly display a former World Trade Center artifact. Brad Christopher of the Wichita Airport Authority said "The presence of this piece should cause us all to reflect on a sad but important period if our country’s history, and help us all to be attentive and mindful of the importance of our sustained security mission."
B&B Metal Arts memorial design includes the words "WE WILL NEVER FORGET" and inspires us, as Bruce Bitter said, to"keep going on, just as the eagle flies onward."