Fever welcomes Project 9/11 beams

Indiana Fever welcomes Project 9/11 beams

By Sam Rogian

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 27, 2011)-- The long, rusted pieces of twisted steel caked with concrete rested on a flatbed semitrailer next to Conseco Fieldhouse as members of the community appreciated their history.

The 11,000-pound beams were once part of the World Trade Center in New York and will serve as the centerpiece of a permanent memorial in downtown Indianapolis to those who lost their lives during terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Although the Project 9/11 Memorial wont be dedicated until next month, the beams were on display Saturday night before and during the Indiana Fevers game against the Atlanta Dream.

Among those taking in the scene were Fever coach Lin Dunn and guard Briann January. The two welcomed local firefighter/paramedic Greg Hess, who served at Ground Zero and led the movement to build the memorial in Indianapolis.

I think its an amazing project, January said. And Im glad theyre putting a piece of it up here in Indiana. I cant wait to see when that memorial is up there.

Man, it gave me chills walking up to that.

January, who was a high school freshman in the state of Washington ten years ago, recalled waking up for school and turning on the television the morning of the attack.

I thought it was a movie, she said. I called up to my parents, and they turned it on. Just sitting there watching it, it was crazy.

I still remember every moment of when I found out that day.

Indiana Fever fan Jeanie Goforth served 15 years as a firefighter and was noticeably moved by the display.

To me, Ive got special feelings for it, Goforth said. I love the Fever; I love the fire department. Ive got faith that well be a strong nation again.

The Project 9/11 Memorial is slated for dedication September 11, the 10th anniversary of the attack, and will be permanently located near the White River Canal.

The memorial will feature a pair of six-foot tall black granite walls inscribed with remembrances of the events in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa. Perched atop the beams will be a bronze, life-size sculpture of an American bald eagle, with wings outstretched and gazing east toward New York City.