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Macedonia planning to build police, fire memorial

By MIKE LESKO Reporter Published: February 22, 2017 12:00 AM
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MACEDONIA -- A police and fire memorial that will include a 6-foot-long, 1,000-pound steel beam from the World Trade Center following the 911 attacks will be set up next to City Hall.

Mayor Joe Migliorini said he hopes the park will be completed this summer.

Most of the items for the memorial are already in the city's possession, but are being stored in different locations.

The beam originally was placed on two blocks of sandstone at the city's park at Route 82 and South Bedford Road, but when Route 82 was widened in 2015, it was moved into storage at the city's service department.

Other items include a firefighters statue, a statue of a police dog and a rock with the canine's name plate on it. Migliorini would also like to include plaques that identify Macedonia's past and present police and fire chiefs.

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The memorial will be to the immediate left of the current municipal facility as motorists pull in off Valley View Road, where a park bench is located. It is where the former city hall building once sat.

It will be the second memorial park in the city, the other being the proposed Nordonia Hills Veterans Memorial Park at the intersection of Route 82 and South Bedford Road in Macedonia.

Area veterans groups hope to dedicate the first memorials there on Memorial Day.

Migliorini said the city is waiting on plans for the police and fire memorial from the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, which has been helping to create a document as to how it should appear.

"We know what we want, but they're helping with the layout," he said.

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The mayor hopes the project will move quickly once the plans are completed, because the sidewalks are already in place and the statues are just around the corner at city hall.

"We'll be laying some concrete pads where we're going to set the statues," he said. "The other things we'll have to focus on are the signs and some lights."

The statue of the police dog was donated in memory of the animal, which was named "Mac," as in Macedonia, according to Police Chief Jon Golden. The German Shepard was named following a "name the dog" contest at Ledgeview Elementary School. The canine died about 10 years ago.

The firefighters statue, which was created by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz, was donated to the city. It shows four New York City firefighters carrying the body of the Rev. Mychal Judge, the fire department chaplain who died during 911 when he was hit by debris while giving last rites to other victims.

To obtain the beam, Fire Chief Tim Black had to submit a petition to the state of New York and its court system "since it was an actual crime scene, to get a piece of the actual Twin Towers," he said. "That beam was cut from the twin towers and given to us as a memorial."

The beams are considered memorials that honor the 2,753 people -- including 343 firefighters -- who died after two hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Macedonia, which was one of the first 50 or so communities in the nation to receive pieces from the twin towers, got its relic from that fateful day on May 27, 2010.

"We were one of the first ones to get a beam," Black said, adding he is eager to put the beam back on display.

"It was very important to get a piece from the World Trade Center because of the number of people that perished," he said. "Especially the firefighters. The fire service is very close, and no matter where something happens, it hurts. We thought it was very important for us to memorialize that."

Mike Lesko: 330-541-9432

mlesko@recordpub.com

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