When U.S. Engineering was recruited to help construct the traveling memorial, an inspiring operation began. The Spring Hill, TN branch was approached by Darrell Lynn, Chairman of Hero Portraits, Inc. and organizer of the memorial, to help construct an exhibit that would permanently honor the first responders’ bravery and sacrifice.
Lynn’s patriotic vision for the exhibit exceeded expectations. The memorial resembles an American flag that appears to be stretched between replicas of the Twin Towers. The red stripes are actually a mosaic of small marble tiles, each containing a portrait of one of the fallen heroes. The structure was designed to have people stand on the base – which is skinned with an aluminum checker plate, similar to that of a fire truck bed – and take photos of the tiles.
Once Lynn found his team for the project, the concept and design features of the 3/4-ton memorial came to life very quickly in order to meet the hard deadline. No stranger to tight schedules and critical timelines, U.S. Engineering quickly completed the structural details, fabrication and assembly of the structural base and 9-foot-tall twin towers. The structural design took place in the in the Spring Hill office, and the structure itself was built in the Loveland, CO fabrication shop in one day (August 13) by highly skilled and hard-working employees. These volunteers gave up their weekend on short notice and endured long hours and abbreviated assembly details to get the job done. Days later, the framework was broken down, crated and shipped to Columbia, TN where Lynn’s team outfitted the frame with lighting, lenses and tiles. In order to accommodate some of the finish hardware, U.S. Engineering’s Spring Hill fabrication shop helped to swiftly engineer and add the special attachment pieces for Lynn.
Bob Brunson, Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Engineering, was directing the process, “It is a testament to U.S. Engineering that even with the tight production schedule we found a willing team with the necessary skills to get it done. Hopefully everyone in the company and their families will someday see the completed memorial."
The entire project was finished on Sept 2 and shipped to New York City for the memorial ceremony on Sept 8 in Central Park. The exhibit will subsequently travel on a year-long tour around the country to cities such as Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, before permanently coming to rest in Memphis, TN at the Fire Museum of Memphis.
The compact schedule, coupled with the highly anticipated memorial ceremony, created a sense of urgency that ultimately led to exceptional teamwork. Lynn’s feelings about the project are clear. “It was awesome. Everybody was incredible. If U.S. Engineering hadn’t stepped up, we couldn’t have pulled it off.”
The memorial was featured on various news programs, including ABC’s “Good Morning America” and can be viewed here.
U.S. Engineering Company was established in 1893 and is one of the most experienced mechanical construction firms in the United States. The firm consistently ranks within the top twenty-five mechanical contractors serving the continental United States. A full service mechanical contractor, U.S. Engineering provides HVAC, plumbing, hydronic piping, process piping, site utilities, piping and plumbing fabrication, and sheet metal fabrication. The firm also offers maintenance and retrofit services for commercial, institutional, industrial, and science and technology facilities. With offices in Kansas City, Colorado, Tennessee and Washington D.C., the firm currently consists of more than 800 employees.