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Group Will Continue To Fight For Its Own 9/11 Memorial in Philadelphia

(Artist rendering of a proposed 9/11 memorial for Franklin Square.  Image provided by Phila911)

(Artist rendering of a proposed 9/11 memorial for Franklin Square. Image provided by Phila911)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Organizers of what would be a second 9/11 memorial in Philadelphia are vowing to press on despite a rejection of their plan by the city’s art commission.

A group calling itself “Phila911″ proposes a memorial in Franklin Square featuring 9-foot, 11-inch replicas of the twin towers, with a replica of the Liberty Bell suspended between the two.

The city’s Art Commission, apparently concerned about the design elements, has turned thumbs down on the plan.  But Steve Saymon, president of the Phila911 group, says they are not giving up:

“Absolutely not.  We are going to, with vigor, go through the proper channels to get approval to construct Philadelphia’s 911 memorial.”

But Philadelphia already has a 9/11 memorial, on the banks of the Schuylkill River (see related story).  Saymon says that location is neither prominent nor accessible, and he rejects criticisms that his group’s proposal is lacking in artistry.

“It does not take an artist, it does not a sculptor to do this,” he says.  “It takes a vision.  It takes a feeling.  It takes emotion.”

Next stop for the group is an appeal of the art commission’s rejection before the city’s L&I Review board.

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