Police, fire associations await 9/11 memorial designs

Three months ago, Huntington Beach's police and fire associations received a pair of steel girders from the World Trade Center and announced plans to make them rise again — in the form of a monument outside City Hall to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Now, officials are still waiting for the public's help in creating a design.

The associations invited the public to send in design ideas by Dec. 15, with the only criteria being that the design must incorporate the two girders, mention the locations of the 9/11 attacks and avoid any religious messages.

However, when the deadline passed, the group had yet to receive any submissions, according to Bijan Darvish, president of the Huntington Beach Police Officers Assn.

"A couple people said it would look good over here or over here, but we didn't get anything specific saying, 'This is how it should look,'" Darvish said.

The group has pushed the deadline back to Feb. 15.

Darrin Witt, president of the Huntington Beach Firefighter's Assn., said he was disappointed by the lack of entries, but hadn't expected too many of them due to the sophisticated nature of the project.

"It's a true specialty for someone to be able to do a design like that," he said. "With the importance of it and all the emphasis put on 9/11, I'd imagine people would take it very seriously."

If submissions come in, Darvish and Witt plan to assemble a committee with representatives from police, fire, the city and the community to choose a winner. The committee will be led by Jim Katapodis, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant who ran for City Council in 2010 and has declared his intention to run next year.

Witt said he is unsure how many people would comprise the committee.

"We want it to be a collaborative effort," he said.

Anyone with a design idea is encouraged to mail it to the HBPOF Memorial Design Committee, P.O. Box 896, Huntington Beach, CA 92648. The city hopes to dedicate the 9/11 memorial on Sept. 11 next year, Darvish said.


Twitter: @MichaelMillerHB

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