How Vermont sculptors helped honor Sept. 11 victims

BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) A memorial glade sits in Memorial Plaza in New York City. It honors those who are sick or who have died from exposure to toxins at the World Trade Center Site in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

That glade was built by granite sculptors at Rock of Ages in Barre. As our Scott Fleishman reports, especially on this day, that community's contribution takes on special meaning.

Six granite monoliths, each of them between 15 and 17 tons. What they represent post 9/11 carries an even greater weight.

"So many people that have fallen ill since that time: the first responders, the police and, of course, all the families that had to suffer along and are still suffering," said Doug Grahn, the executive director of the Barre Granite Association.

Rock of Ages accepted this challenge with chisels in hand.

"To be a part of this is pretty special, something you tell your friends about," David Fournier said back in January.

Fournier oversaw the project. The monuments left Barre in April for their new home.

"There were people just lining the streets to see it," Grahn said.

The Barre Granite Association is celebrating its 130th anniversary. Grahn says the 9/11 glade is just another example of the meaningful work that comes from this community.

"It's such a proud time for the local industry, for Vermonters and really, America," Grahn said.

Granite Industries of Vermont recently built a memorial monument. It will honor the 129 sailors who were lost in the USS Thresher off the coast of Cape Cod in 1963. That dedication takes place Sept. 26 at Arlington National Cemetery.