City considering bid for 9/11 memorial sculpture

The city of Kirkland is set to bid on a 9/11 memorial bronze sculpture that could possibly be located in Juanita Beach Park. Before anything is set in stone, however, the City Council is looking for community feedback.

During its May 22 meeting, the Council voted unanimously to approve a bid for the Spirit of America 9/11 Memorial Sculpture. According to the city, it would cost roughly $13,500 to acquire the sculpture and have it installed.

The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission first considered the idea in April after being informed by a resident, and they eventually recommended it to the Parks Board. Several members of the KCAC, however, questioned whether Kirkland was the appropriate location for the sculpture, as the 9/11 attacks occurred in New York.  At their May 14 meeting, the Parks Board voted unanimously to recommend it to the City Council.

Kirkland City Manager Kurt Triplett said that the council voted to authorize the bid because of the imminent deadline in order to keep the option open. Additionally, because it is a competition there is no guarantee at this point Kirkland will actually buy the sculpture. But at the same time, they want an opportunity for residents to express their sentiments on the idea before making a final decision.

Triplett said the sculpture was originally intended to be at Heritage Park, but it was later decided it was not the most appropriate place for it, as it would create a somber mood where events such as weddings are held. Also, Heritage Park is designed to be more naturalistic.

The sculpture was created using debris from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It has four people, a firefighter, a soldier, a female office worker and a flight attendant holding hands around a piece of steel taken from the 60th floor of the World Trade Center and a piece of limestone from the fifth floor of the Pentagon.

The sculpture will be awarded based on a competitive process that requires submitted proposals by cities in Washington. Only one city will receive a sculpture.

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