Consensus was reached Tuesday night on the placement and scale of the 9/11 memorial proposed for Bingham Park, Hawley.


Consensus was reached Tuesday night on the placement and scale of the 9/11 memorial proposed for Bingham Park, Hawley.
As it stands, the Hawley 9/11 Committee is looking to place the permanent memorial on the knoll behind the bandstand, somewhere near the pine trees.
What had been building to a larger and more costly tribute, has been scaled back. Currently they are considering a pentagon-shaped base, with two or three feet of steel from the World Trade Center remains, rising in the center. A couple benches would be placed on the sides, with room to potentially add more benches later. There may be at least one flagpole. Flowering trees would be planted adjacent to the memorial.
The final design, however, must still be taken before Borough Council for approval.
Living Memorial
In addition, funding that is raised for the memorial which surpass the expenses will be set aside in an account for some form of “living memorial.” Council Vice-president Mary Sanders suggested the idea, which brought immediate concurrence from Dr. Joann Hudak, Assistant Superintendent at Wallenpaupack Area School District, and others on the committee.
Suggestions for the living memorial include funds to pay for student field trips to visit Ground Zero in Manhattan; scholarships for students interesting in law enforcement or other emergency services; or pay for special speakers.
Debate over the location rose at the last meeting, with some wanting it close to Route 6 where it would be more visible, and others chose the knoll. An advantage of the knoll is that the area is more serene, for anyone wishing to come and pay their respects- without busy traffic noise.
Bob Essex, who also suggested a spot next to the bandstand, said the knoll was fine except for the expense of laying electrical line. If they have a US flag, it will need to be lighted. Sanders thought this would work out, since they need to have a cable buried anyway for a security camera.
Others were expressing concerns that the size of the memorial was becoming too grandiose for a town of only 1,200 people, Sanders said. The living memorial concept ties in as part of the solution. A point Essex had raised was that young people might not pay attention to a small memorial. Sanders offered that funds set aside benefiting students may make a lasting impression.
After reviewing the ideas, Essex agreed that a more modest memorial may be more fitting for a small town. Eliminating the engraved granite stone between the benches would also significantly reduce expenses, he added. Engraving could still be done on the base.
Mike Lavine, a landscaper who is also chairman of the Hawley Parks & Recreation Committee, offered to provide flowering trees.
There were some varying, personal feelings about the steel. While it was said seeing a piece of the actual tower is not unlike looking at a wrecked car where someone was killed, Elaine Herzog, a Council member, thought it was a proper way for people to make a connection and remember. Sanders urged that the piece of steel be made secure; Baldwin asked that it be kept small.
Hudak presented a sample program for the 10th anniversary ceremony, which is set for 1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11. She is gathering students volunteers from the high school to participate. The Wallenpaupack band will assemble in the bandstand. Chairs will be set up under a tent, with some in the front reserved for “9/11 victims” and program speakers.
Mayor Kevin Hawk advised that a rabbi be found to help offer prayers, as well as Christian ministers. Rev. Marty Cox has been asked to arrange for clergy.
Senator Lisa Baker is interested in coming, Essex stated. State representatives and county commissioners are being invited.
Student volunteers will also help with the car wash on Sunday afternoon, June 26, to raise project funds.  Starting at 1 p.m. that day there will be a barbecue by the bandstand (or the Ambulance Hall if it rains) to raise money. Volunteers are welcome.
There are still plans to have an auction for a 9/11 tribute painting done by renowned artist Peter Max.
Another plan is to sell commemorative t-shirts. Hudak presented a variety of 9/11 logos designed by students. The committee settled on one that has drawings of the Twin Towers in front of a US flag, all within a blue pentagon shape.  There would be words to the effect, “Never forget 9/11” and “Lake Region Memorial Dedication.”
Tax-deductible donations for the project are welcome. Send checks made payable to Hawley Parks & Recreation with “9/11 Memorial Fund” in the memo line. Mail it to Hawley Borough, 94 Main Ave., Hawley, PA 18428.
Anyone who was directly impacted by 9/11- such as those who may have lost a loved one in the tragedy or served in the emergency response effort - should be invited, said Susan Baldwin, president of Hawley Ambulance Corps. They are welcome to both attend the ceremony where the memorial will be dedicated, and lend a hand.
There was already another such person at the meeting. Rosemarie Hoesly of Lakeville said she read the article about the last committee meeting, and wanted to come and do what she can to help. Rosemarie lost her brother Joseph Mangano, who was working at the World Trade Center September 11, 2001, when the attacks occurred.  He had a summer home at The Hideout, where his son still lives.
The community is welcome to participate. The next committee meeting was set for Wednesday, May 18 at 6 p.m., at Hawley Borough Hall.