FDNY Cancels 9/11 Statue
- Subj: FDNY Cancels 9/11 Statue
Date: 1/18/02 09:26:12 Eastern Standard Time
From: citizen@... (Sierra Times.com)
To: sierratimesalert@... (SierraTimes.com)
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FDNY Cancels 9/11 Statue
Commish to rethink memorial after flap over race
New Youk Daily News Police Bureau
A controversial bronze statue planned for Fire Department headquarters was
scrapped yesterday after angry protests from firefighters.
The statue was based on a photograph of three white firefighters raising an
American flag amid the World Trade Center rubble.
But the artist hired to cast the $180,000 statue used one black, one Latino
one white fireman, prompting firefighters to accuse the FDNY of abandoning
historical accuracy for political correctness.
"We heard the reaction of the firefighters, and we decided to take another
at it," Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta told the Daily News. "I was not
there when the original decision was made, but now it's my responsibility to
come up with something appropriate, and that's what we are going to do."
Scoppetta met yesterday with Bruce Ratner, whose company, Forest City Ratner,
owns the downtown Brooklyn building that houses FDNY headquarters.
"[Ratner] and the Fire Department want something that is dignified, something
that is an appropriate tribute to the memory of everyone connected to Sept. 11
and the World Trade Center," Scoppetta said. "We want it to be a dignified,
respected memorial. This controversy made us realize it is not appropriate to
ahead with this particular monument."
Sources close to Ratner, who paid for the memorial, said the real estate mogul
had no idea the statue would be multiethnic, and the decision to change the
image was made by FDNY officials.
"Every detail about the statue was decided by the Fire Department and the
artist," the source said.
The source said Ratner "loves the Fire Department" and even paid for the FDNY
retool its Wall of Honor - inscribed with the names of every firefighter
in the line of duty - to add the 343 heroes lost in the Trade Center attacks.
"I will support the Fire Department's decision on what constitutes a fitting
inspiring memorial that pays tribute to these heroes," Ratner said yesterday.
Paul Washington, president of the Vulcan Society, a fraternal organization of
black firefighters, said his group will welcome any memorial the FDNY decides
"A lot of brave men died of all colors, and we want to see that represented,"
Washington said. "We have no problem with whatever they put up, as long as it
Brooklyn Firefighter Steve Cassidy, who began circulating a petition opposing
the statue this week, thanked Scoppetta and Ratner last night.
"I am hopeful that in time there will be a fitting monument to commemorate all
who were lost on Sept. 11," said Cassidy, who is assigned to Engine 236.
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