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Matthews Presents a Tribute to America

On February 8, when the eyes of the world were focused on the start of the Winter Olympics, there was a different type of bronze on the minds of the officials at the United States Pentagon - Matthews Bronze!

Just three days shy of marking the five-month anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks on United States soil that led to the crash of a 747 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York; and destroyed the western façade of the building symbolic of the nation's military power, a bronze plaque was dedicated to honor the 184 people killed in the Pentagon attack. The plaque was a gift to the citizens of the United States from Matthews Bronze.

"We modified our original "America the Beautiful" feature plaque to reflect the events of September 11," said Dave Jones, Matthews' vice president of sales and marketing. "The 4' x 8' cast bronze tribute plaque includes the lyrics to "God Bless America" because after the attacks those poignant words defined the renewed spirit of patriotism in this country. Our designers also created new images that frame the lyrics including the New York skyline with the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, the Pentagon, a field representing Somerset County, Pennsylvania and a mountain range with a soaring eagle."

According to Jones, since Matthews donated tributes to honor those killed in New York and Somerset County, PA, it was important to remember those who lost their lives in the Pentagon attack.

"Tom Longmore, our regional manager whose territory includes, Delaware, Maryland the District of Columbia and the northern counties of Virginia faced a challenging task in locating the appropriate contacts at the Pentagon," he said. "The Pentagon is virtually a city in itself. The National Capitol could fit into any one of the five wedge-shaped sections. Approximately 25,000 employees, both military and civilian, work in the building and contribute to the planning and execution of the defense of our country. When he began establishing contacts at the Pentagon, Tom was literally weaving his way through a maze of people. When he did reach the appropriate personnel, they were delighted to accept Matthews' gift to the citizens of the United States.

On February 8, Jones and Longmore were joined by Matthews' President Dave DeCarlo for the presentation of the plaque to David "Doc" Cooke, who is the "Mayor of the Pentagon." A 12" x 12" cast bronze plaque accompanies the tribute and reads:

Matthews Bronze created this "God Bless America" tribute to honor those who sacrificed their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks. The employees of Matthews Bronze are honored to contribute to the healing efforts of our nation by creating this tribute along with the poignant firefighter statue that was donated to the residents of New York City and the commemorative memorial given to Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It was our privilege to donate this original work of art to the citizens of the United States in the unwavering spirit of patriotism that defines our great nation. God Bless America.

Following the events of September 11, there have been many security changes at the Pentagon and Mayor Doc Cooke wants to place the tribute at a high profile site where it will have maximum exposure. Until a permanent site is chosen, the plaques will be situated at the main throughway where all Pentagon employees enter the building.

"Feedback has been overwhelming," Dave Jones said. "It was an honor to give this beautiful tribute to our fellow Americans."