The historic timeline is on display at the Suwanee Town Center part of a new permanent artistic display titled “Remembrance” a memorial for the events which took place on Sept. 11, 2001. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)
September 11th artistic display in Suwanee
City of Suwanee public information officer Lynne Bohlman DeWilde talks about the city's new permanent artistic display titled "Remembrance," a memorial for the events which took place on Sept. 11, 2001. The display created by Marc Moulton includes a stainless steel sculpture, historic timeline and a 1,628-pound artifact removed from the World Trade Center in New York City.
SUWANEE — Two years ago, Suwanee officials revealed its latest public work of art: a 1,628-pound piece of recovered steel from the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Wednesday, on the 12th anniversary of the tragedy, the city will unveil the permanent location of the steel, plus an artistic display called “Remembrance” with a brief dedication at the Suwanee Town Green.
“When we unveiled the World Trade Center artifact two years ago, I was struck by how the community responded with the emotions that were still connected on the day,” said Lynne DeWilde, Suwanee’s public information officer. “We’ve had a lot of interest of where it was going to go, what was going to happen do it. There’s a deep interest by the community because of the emotional and historical aspects attached to it.”
The damaged, twisted piece didn’t have a home, until now — at the corner of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Buford Highway.
To accompany the recovered steel from the New York City scene, the city’s Public Arts Commission solicited proposals from several artists to create a larger work of art. Statesboro artist Marc Moulton was contracted for the job.
As a sculpture professor at Georgia Southern University, the artist has created public art projects for more than 20 years. This is his first with historical significance.
“I’ve never done anything quite like this,” Moulton said. “I hope that it will provide a sense of respect and remembrance for the world-altering events it marks. And for those who weren’t born yet, I hope the display offers a little bit of the history of 9/11.”
Suwanee’s piece of World Trade Center steel was part of an exterior steel panel from floors 101-104 of one of the twin towers. Moulton’s display includes a Sept. 11 historical timeline with stainless steel letters and numbers. The actual sculpture is an inverted conical with the lower Manhattan cityscape cut into it. At night, there is a light that is turned on inside of the cone to cast the outline of the skyline onto the ground.
“It’s like looking down on New York City from the top of the World Trade Center,” DeWilde said. “We think it will be a different experience during the day than at night, so we’re encouraging people to look at it twice.”
The Public Arts Commission also considered the fire station and police station across from City Hall, and several locations in and around Town Center, but instead chose a raised area near the brick outer wall along Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.
“Once the artist was selected and the concept was firmed up, Town Center seemed liked a natural spot for the piece,” DeWilde said.
Suwanee is one of 24 communities and organizations in Georgia that received an artifact from the fallen towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. In 2011, the city held a 10 year anniversary event that featured bagpipes and a candlelight ceremony.
The piece of steel is 90 inches long, 89 inches tall and 55 inches wide. It was given to Suwanee by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Suwanee isn’t the only city to hold a night of remembrance tonight. Dacula is also hosting a dedication at Maple Creek Park.
At 5 p.m., volunteers are meeting at City Hall for litter pickup, then going to the park at 6 p.m. for the memorial service. Two trees are to be planted for those who lost their lives 12 years ago.
In Suwanee, the small ceremony will include a performance by the North Gwinnett High School Advanced Chamber Orchestra, and speeches by Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette, Mayor Pro Tem Dick Goodman and PAC member Linnea Miller.
“We’re keeping the event pretty low key,” DeWilde said. “We want the piece to do most of the talking.”
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