A large crowd gathered Thursday morning at the Salina Regional Airport for a very special event. A “Never Forget” sculpture, honoring those who responded, and those who lost their lives during the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks, was officially dedicated.
The sculpture was commissioned by the Transportation Security Administration. Jay Brainard, the Federal Security Director for the TSA in Kansas told KSAL News at the event “we are very pleased to have the sculpture in place here, it is a reminder to us everyday of what transpired on September 11th.” He went on to say that it also serves a reminder to everyone why the TSA has to take the steps that it does in screening passengers to insure that everyone makes it to their destination safely.
Salina Airport Authority Executive Director told KSAL News that a portion of a beam from the World Trade Center is a part of the sculpture. Rogers said that there are nine stars and eleven stripes on a flag on the sculpture, representing 9 / 11. Behind the flag are the former twin towers of the World Trade Center. An American eagle representing freedom is also on the sculpture. The eagle is perched on a piece of a beam that was salvaged from World Trade Center debris. The words “Never Forget” are etched at the top of the sculpture.
Director Brainard said that his agency also arranged for similar sculptures at all of the other airports in Kansas they serve.
As part of the event, Brainard administered the TSA oath of service to a group of officers, including a new officer assigned to Salina who also received her badge.
Among those at the dedication event Thursday morning were representatives from the Salina Fire Department, Salina Police Department, Saline County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, the Kansas Legislature, and the City of Salina.
Rogers said the sculpture, which is now on permanent display, has actually already been in the airport for several days. “It’s been very well received by everyone who comes upon it,” he said.
(click photos to enlarge)