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Kitsap 9/11 Memorial redesign to be presented tonight

In terms of the newest rendition of a proposed Kitsap 9/11 memorial design, maybe less is more.

It's also what the public has been asking for.

Members of the Kitsap 9/11 Memorial Committee's design sub-committee Thursday discussed the recently updated design of the local memorial to a great national tragedy in preparation a public presention tonight at the Bremerton Parks and Recreation board meeting. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Sheridan Park Community Center, 680 Lebo Blvd., Bremerton.

Committee members said the new design has taken into consideration the main comments heard from the public earlier in the year — wordiness of the stories, the memorial being too large, lack of local stories — and has scaled back the design while keeping the core concepts of representing the four significant events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.

"We were a gangly memorial concentrated over the whole area [of Evergreen Park,]" said Dave Fergus, committee member and architect with Rice Fergus Miller and Central Kitsap Fire and REscue commissioner who is helping with the design.

The new design is reduced by 75 percent of what it was originally set out to be, Fergus said.

New on board with the design help is Bob Guyt, also of Rice Fergus Miller, who explained that the new design will encompass a "time scale" where each of the four events of 9/11 — each plane that hit the Twin Towers, American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania — will be represented by different colored metal tiling. The tiling will be placed in a circle to make a ring around the memorial. The tiles will host engraved stories of each event in chronological order, with time markers along the way so people will be able to tell what happened when in each attack and relation to each other, Guyt said.

"It can be a short visit where you just touch the steel, or you can spend more time and read the stories," said Guyt, adding that the two steel beams from the wreckage of the Twin Towers will be placed near the ring of events.

The memorial would also include an outer wall covered in art tiles made by local students.

The wall might also include stories of 9/11 from local views, but the committee is still discussing where the best place to obtain the local stories would be.

The new design concept also includes an American flag that would be placed outside the rings. Committee members said the flag would need to be high enough so as not to compete with the steel beams. Guyt said the overall diameter of the memorial is 33 feet.

Soon-to-retire Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chief Roy Lusk noted that all the engravings of the stories on metal would be costly. The committee plans to seek-out in-kind donations of materials for the memorial.

As the design process move forwards, they have discussed placing renderings of it throughout the city for people to look at and comment in person, as well as create an online comment form to receive feedback. The newest design concept will be available for viewing at Tuesday's meeting.

Committee members said they hope the community will be open to the new design of the memorial.

"I'm really excited to present this to the parks board," said Lusk.

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