BARRE — History has a funny way of repeating itself in Barre, a community that is constantly called on to create lasting reminders of who we are, where we’ve been and what we’ve lost along the way.
Doubters need only consider the rusted section of I-beam that was loaded on a flatbed truck Thursday morning, along with 15,000 pounds of freshly finished granite.
It wasn’t the first piece of structural steel plucked from the rubble of the World Trade Center to be shipped in and out of Barre since terrorists toppled the twin towers 12 years ago, and it probably won’t be the last.
Marking history is what Barre does and the latest evidence — carefully crafted components of a memorial that will be assembled in a New Jersey park just in time for a suitably solemn ceremony on Sept. 11 — quietly rode out of town on the back of a Bellavance truck Thursday.
On Wednesday, the yet-to-be-crated pieces of a monument that is destined for Englewood, N.J., were assembled in the yard of Granite Industries of Vermont, the company that quarterbacked production of a piece that owner Jeff Martel said was truly a team effort.
“This one made the rounds,” Martel said of the multi-faceted memorial. “It was really a cooperative effort.”
According to Martel, whose company took the order on June 27, it all started with two blocks of Black Mist granite that Rock of Ages quarries in Pennsylvania.
Under the supervision of plant manager Louis Scott, GIV workers turned the raw black granite into a five-sided pedestal and base before shipping the pedestal to Granite Importers, where Bruce Colgan’s crew polished its beveled faces and shipped it to North Mausoleum. Once there, Mark Mattson handled the lettering — engraving the names of eight Englewood residents who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on one face, a two-part dedication on two others, and the words “We shall never forget” above the date of the attack on a fourth.
The fifth panel was blank, before the stone was shipped back to GIV and Stan White, an etcher from Montpelier, did his part. White etched the instantly iconic photograph of three firefighters raising the American flag at “Ground Zero” that was snapped by a photographer for the Bergen County Record.
As a kid growing up in New Jersey, Martel said he delivered The Record and was moved as a man by the “Ground Zero Spirit” photograph.
“It’s a pretty powerful image,” he said.
White’s other contribution to the memorial was a ribbon etched on one of the other four panels.
Then there was the steel beam, one from the World Trade Center’s second tower that will be mounted atop the memorial on a stainless steel shaft that will slide into the cored granite pedestal.
According to Martel, Pierre Ducharme of Ducharme Machine Shop in Williamstown took care of that part of the project.
“It’s a piece of history, that’s for sure,” Martel said of the beam, which isn’t so different from a section GIV used to create a 9/11 monument for Bennington two years ago.
“We’ve done quite a few of them over the years,” Martel said, noting his Sept. 11 customers can be found throughout northern New Jersey, the Bronx, Staten Island and as far away as Cleveland, Ohio.
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