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Archive for Wednesday, November 13, 2002

s 9-11 memorial

November 13, 2002

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Bob Dole was out of office by the time hijackers rammed jetliners into the World Trade Center towers.

But Richard Norton Smith, director of the Dole Institute of Politics at Kansas University, says there are plenty of connections between DoleâÂÂs political and military service and the current world situation. ThatâÂÂs why he asked the New York City MayorâÂÂs Office for two beams from the Trade Center rubble. They arrived Tuesday and will be incorporated into the Dole center on KUâÂÂs West Campus.

âÂÂWeâÂÂre trying to make a visual connection between the sacrifices of the World War II generation and the sacrifices of the current generation,â Smith said.

The two beams - 10 1/2 feet long and 4 feet in diameter - will be kept in a West Campus storage building until a permanent memorial can be built.

Smith said he wanted to encase them in glass outdoors at the Dole InstituteâÂÂs new building, which is under construction near the Lied Center. The building will be dedicated in July, but the World Trade Center memorial probably will be dedicated Sept. 11, 2003 - the second anniversary of the attacks.

Smith wants the memorial to be near the reflecting pool in front of the building, but aside from that, the details have yet to be determined.

âÂÂIt should be a dramatic spot,â he said. âÂÂI envision weâÂÂll light them dramatically at night.âÂÂ

Dole, the former U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate from Russell, requested the beams a month ago.

He also mentioned the request to Andrew McKelvey, CEO of TMP Worldwide, who also works with the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund. ThatâÂÂs the fund Dole and former President Bill Clinton established for families of Sept. 11 victims. McKelvey is dating someone in New York City Mayor Michael BloombergâÂÂs office, Smith said.

Within a few days, workers were cutting the beams, which were at the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island.

BloombergâÂÂs office donated the beams, which weigh 1,500 pounds each. McKelvey paid for shipping them to Kansas on a semi truck.

Smith said the beams were rare because many of the communities who have requested rubble have received 2-foot sections of beams. At least two other Kansas communities - Dodge City and Hutchinson - are creating memorials using beams from the World Trade Center.

Erik Nelson, the Dole InstituteâÂÂs associate director, said many of the beams distributed had been sanitized and had excess rubble removed. But KUâÂÂs beams havenâÂÂt - they still have pieces of cloth, plastic and dirt on them, and thereâÂÂs evidence of where hot jet fuel burned away the fire retardant spray from the beams.

âÂÂThey havenâÂÂt been cleaned,â Nelson said. âÂÂWe wanted them just as they were when they were taken out of ground zero.âÂÂ

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