I will confess, I considered Tempered by Memory a monstrosity
that had no place in Saratoga Springs.
I was wrong.
It is a striking memorial to a monstrous event, and it cannot
help but keep alive both the memory and meaning of Sept. 11, 2011.
Today, the 11th anniversary of 9/11, I decided to stop by
quietly, to see the sculpture in person for the first time, and to pay my
respects to all those killed, injured and otherwise affected by that terrible
day and the years of war that have followed.
The committee given the task to find a home for the memorial
did a fine job. The geography of High Rock Park allows the sculpture to stand
out in a somewhat sheltered, unobtrusive setting just beyond the Farmers Market
pavilions. The location is downtown and easy to get to, just below the Saratoga
Springs City Center, yet just a bit off the beaten path.
It is a fine place for people to stop, as I did, to pay their
On my way to the memorial I decided to write up my thoughts in
a blog post. But, being a journalist first, I couldn’t help but ask the handful
of people coming and going if I could quote them for The Saratogian. Everyone obliged.
So I wiped my eyes and grabbed a sheet of paper. My story, which will be posted
online and printed Wednesday with pictures Erica Miller is taking at the site
this afternoon, is below.
|Tempered by Steel in High Rock Park was dedicated on Sunday. |
On Tuesday, people stopped by on their own to see the 9/11
memorial and pay their respects. Photo by Eric Jenks.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Carol Kautzman was among a steady stream of
visitors to stop by High Rock Park to see the city’s 9/11 memorial sculpture,
Tempered by Memory, on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the most deadly attack
on American soil.
“I remember, it was such
a stunning day, just like this one,” said Kautzman, who moved to Saratoga
Springs two years ago from New York City. She was listening on the radio about
another memorial to the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks and decided it was
time to visit this one.
The sculpture by John Van Alstine and Noah Savett is made of
steel from the World Trade Center skyscrapers that were struck by hijacked jets
and collapsed, killing and injuring thousands. On the same day, the Pentagon
was also struck, and another hijacked plane was crashed by passengers
preventing another attack.
“It’s haunting,” Kautzman said of the twisted steel. “Do you
need to see it or is virtual reality enough? There’s something about a memorial
that’s touching. It transports you.”
The donated sculpture was officially dedicated Sunday, and the
city conducted 9/11 observances at the war memorial in Congress Park.
Marion Miller, who lives across the street from High Rock Park,
was at the memorial with her brother, Foster James, who, like others on
Tuesday, felt this was the day to visit. Finding a place for the sculpture had
been somewhat controversial, and the siblings agreed this location, with the
stone wall behind it, works well.
“It’s a good fit,” James said.
Also at the site around noon was city resident Kathleen Monaco.
“I normally sit in Congress Park and read, but today I thought
it would be a good opportunity to come here and say a prayer,” Monaco said. The
prayer? “A Hail Mary, for world peace.”