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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Saratoga's Tempered by Memory a fitting memorial to 9/11

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 respects.

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.”


Blogger Judy said...

The City should be commended for their beautiful commoration on Sunday, September 9th. I was very proud of the structure and it's surroundings. I might suggest a couple of benches be placed around the memorial so folks can sit and contemplate, remember, pray, etc.
Thank you.

September 15, 2012 at 10:37 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um... isn't it called Tempered by memory? or did they change it?

September 18, 2012 at 1:43 PM 
Blogger Fresh Ink said...

Dear Anonymous,
Uh, no, that was my mistake. I accidentally wrote Tempered by Steel. Thanks for the heads up; I've corrected it.

September 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM 

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