Kennewick to unveil memorial of 9/11 attacks on Sunday

Kennewick will recognize the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by placing a 35-foot-tall remnant from the twin towers as a memorial monument in the Southridge area.

The artifact, weighing nearly 6,000 pounds, was obtained by the city from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey four months ago.

The dedication is at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Three steel beams that once were part of the World Trade Center will be brought from the Lampson International shops in Kennewick to just north of the Southridge Sports Complex and placed on a specially prepared site near Highway 395 and Hildebrand Boulevard in Kennewick.

"The public will be allowed to watch as the monument is lifted into position and bolted down," said Paul Parish, Kennewick city councilman and member of the 9/11 Memorial Monument Committee.

People also may want to watch the procession as the truck carrying the artifact makes its way to the Southridge area from downtown Kennewick beginning around 10 a.m.

The memorial site is about 40-by-40 feet and features two columns of basalt to symbolize the New York City towers. There are benches placed around the square where the monument and flagpole will be set.

The site also has low landscaping, decorative rock and lights to illuminate the beams.

Parish said local business owners who assisted with labor and materials include Bill Lampson, Craig Mayfield of Central Premix, Dennis Poland of Poland and Sons, and Bruce Ratchford of Apollo.

Others who participated and were on the memorial committee include Karen Miller of Benton PUD, Randy Mendenhall of Heritage Nursery, Tony Edwards of Allen Electric, Brad Snuggs of Frontier Fence, Herb Coulter of Lampson and Ryan Durham from the city of Kennewick's engineering department.

"The majority of decisions were left to the contractors," Parish said.

Durham produced all of the design drawings, delivering them in amazingly short turnaround time, Parish said.

Other city staff involved were fire Chief Neil Hines, police Chief Ken Hohenberg and Terry Walsh, the city's director of community and human relations.

The work had to move quickly because there was less than three months to design and build the monument site, and to prepare the artifact for its Sept. 11 unveiling.

Parish said that thanks to donated work and materials, the cost for the monument and its placement is expected to be about $100,000.

That cost will be paid out of a 9/11 memorial fund administered by the city. It will include donations and any excess dollars will be used only for future maintenance of the memorial, Parish said. None of the donations will go toward anything other than the memorial, he said.

The 9/11 memorial program will feature an unveiling of the artifact by Parish and Lampson, who arranged for its transport to Kennewick from New York, and comments from Parish, Hines, Mayor Steve Young and a singing of America the Beautiful by the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers.

Kennewick VFW Post 5785 will raise the flag, and Boy Scout Troop 148 will post and retire colors and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sunday's memorial dedication will be followed by a city celebration at the sports complex where construction of a sports pavilion is nearly complete.

The celebration, which is from 1 to 4 p.m., will offer free food, a home run derby, family fun games, a soccer shoot-out, sports-themed bouncy house and a lacrosse demonstration, with an opportunity for public participation.

This will be the first time the public will have access to the multi-use sports and events complex, said Brandon Lange, the city's sponsorship and sports marketing coordinator.

The sports complex has baseball, softball, soccer fields and the pavilion, which is expected for a grand opening in spring 2012, Lange said.

-- John Trumbo: 509-582-1529; jtrumbo@tricityherald.com