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And Plaques To The City of New York
The statue, which was originally commissioned to Matthews by the Firefighters Association of Missouri in October 2000, was completed in August 2001. It was custom manufactured by Matthews* plant in Parma, Italy for shipment to Missouri. However, many coincidences surrounded the statue*s arrival in New York City according to David J. DeCarlo, president of the Bronze Division of Matthews International.
*It was fate that the 2,700-pound statue arrived in the United States on September 9 at Kennedy Airport. The statue, which was originally intended to be shipped by ocean freight to the United States for a mid-October delivery to the Missouri Firefighters Association, was air freighted to the United States at the direction of Matthews* product manager to ensure the October delivery.*
As it turned out, the statue arrived two days prior to the tragic events of September 11 and was detained in customs during the closure of Kennedy airport. Based on these turn of events, Matthews immediately decided to donate the statue to New York City with their promise to the Firefighters Association of Missouri that Matthews would make and supply them a duplicate firefighter statue.
Representatives from Matthews worked tirelessly
to have the statue released on September 17 from Kennedy Airport. On
that very day, another coincidence occurred when there appeared in the
New York Post a full-page photo from Ground Zero of an actual fireman
kneeling in the same pose that the statue depicts.
*We hope that these memorials will serve as a source of inspiration to the numerous firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel and volunteers who are working tirelessly in the rescue and recovery efforts at the site of the World Trade destruction,* said DeCarlo. Additionally, it will be a tangible site for those grieving to find solace, and a place where flowers, notes and various other memorials to victims can be placed.*
DeCarlo added that the response from the citizens of New York and visitors to the site has been overwhelming and that the employees of Matthews worldwide are honored to have been able to contribute to the war effort and the healing process for the citizens of New York.