city agendas

9-11 Memorial

Anthony, Kansas home of the Official State of Kansas 9-11 Memorial. The Kansas 9-11 Memorial was erected in the memory of those true patriots who gave their lives during the horrific tragedy in NYC, Washington D.C. and a field near Shanksville, Pa, and to honor those left behind. The memorial is about ordinary people who met extraordinary challenges, working together to make a difference across our nation, and in the lives of one hero firefighter's family. The memorial tells the story of the connection between a small farming community of 2300 people in south-central Kansas, fallen firefighter Joseph P. Spor, Jr. and his brothers at Engine 88, Ladder 38 FDNY, and Rescue 3.

Even though Anthony, Kansas is hundreds of miles from the 3 crash sites, as all Americans, we felt their shock, horror and pain of Sept. 11, 2001. The people of Anthony wanted to do something to help that would make a difference. After contacting several agencies, our mayor at the time, John Schott, finally connected with a firehouse in the Bronx that had been devastated with many losses. He asked if they could help our small community locate one family that had lost a loved one that might need some immediate outside assistance. Joe Huber, at Engine 88, Ladder Company 38, told the mayor about his friend and co-worker, Joe Spor. He said Joe was 35 yrs. old, had a beautiful wife, Colleen, and had 4 children, the oldest was 6 and the youngest was 6 months old. Joe Spor lost his life helping others to safety on 9-11-2001 at the World Trade Center. The people from Anthony "adopted" this family.

In March of 2002, Joe Huber came to Anthony from the Bronx, representing FDNY Engine 88, Ladder Company 38, to personally thank the citizens of Anthony and to meet the people who have been so kind to his "brother's" family. He was so gracious to visit the schools and meet the children who had sent gifts, cards, pictures and emails to the firehouse and to the Spor family. On this visit, Joe Huber brought a piece of glass and other artifacts to show the students. It was on this trip that the idea of Anthony obtaining some WTC steel was discussed. Mayor Schott mentioned to him that he would like some steel from the World Trade Center to make a permanent memorial to the victims and heroes of September 11 and Anthony’s response to that tragedy. After many emails and phone calls between Anthony and New York, a man in the NYC Mayor's office said we would get our steel, but the steel had to be picked up in Brooklyn in 4 days. Without any funds, and on such a short deadline, Schott, the local True Value Hardware Store owner, picked up the phone and made several more calls. He ended up speaking to the CEO of True Value. She said that Anthony sounded like a wonderful, caring place of generous people and the company would gladly pick up the steel in Brooklyn and deliver it to Anthony at no charge. After a couple more phone calls to the True Value trucking managers in Allenstown, Pennsylvania and Kansas City, the arrangements were all in order. On October 23, 2002 the True Value truck pulled up behind the store carrying their weekly order and a very special delivery from the City of New York.

Mayor Schott organized a committee of volunteers with various talents and they were asked to design the right memorial out of this steel from the rubble of the World Trade Center. The memorial they designed and created was to honor not only the victims and heroes of that horrendous attack, but also the triumph of the American spirit as Anthony responded with compassion, resolve, and care. And as a gift, it was to be built without tax monies. The memorial's original figures ran in the vicinity of $40,000 and the committee had to use private and corporate donations and money received from a variety of fund raisers. Little did they know at the time, the cost of the structure itself would be more than double that figure.

The Pentagon agreed to release a 250-pound block of limestone from the facing of the wall that was hit by the terrorists. The numbers cut into the block identifies exactly where the stone was located on a map at the Pentagon. Col. Michael Fergason delivered it to Anthony on July 15, 2004.

The Flight 93 Memorial Committee and the Families of Flight 93 sent some soil and ashes from the area of the Pennsylvania crash site. It arrived mid-August 2004.

Both of these additions, along with the WTC steel we received, completed the purpose of the memorial: to tell the story of 9-11 and the response of a small town far removed from the attack sites, and to honor ALL the heroes we lost that day.

This connection has not stopped with the memorial.  A bond has formed between the two communities; so different in many ways, but so much alike in others. We are a family.

We'd like to invite you to come to Anthony.

 

9-11 memorial page