KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (9/11/2011) – Life is full of unfortunate and tragic events, but the memories of loved ones fallen, and the tributes paid to them will live on. A decade has passed since the attacks of Sept. 11 but those events are fresh in the mind of any soldier deployed and fighting to keep America safe.
In remembrance of the fallen soldiers, firefighters and police officers of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div. created a sculpture to honor the 10th anniversary. A remembrance ceremony hosted by 204th BSB was held on Forward Operating Base Walton where the sculpture was placed on display. The sculpture will be sent to the World Trade Center Tribute Center in New York City. Photo by Army Spc. April York, Sept. 11, 2011
Sgt. Robert White, a machinist with Company B, 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division designed and welded a sculpture for a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony by request from his Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Todd Bertulis, and with some help from his fellow soldiers.
The project started when Chief Warrant Officer Gene Balderman, an allied trade technician for 204th BSB, was tasked with finding the right soldier for the job.
“The colonel was going all out for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and I asked White if he thought he could put something together,” Balderman said. “[White] said, ‘Sure why not.'”
“White's the kind of guy who always likes a challenge,” Balderman added, “I helped him with some research and let him decide what he wanted to do.”
The sculpture, which took three weeks and roughly 100 hours to build, is three individual pieces mounted on a triangular plate that pays tribute to the soldiers, N.Y. City firefighters and the N.Y. police officers who lost their lives on 9/11.
“The project is about selfless service,” White said. “It's about unselfish people doing great things.”
When asked how he came up with the design White said, “When I create I get a picture in my head and I just go with it.”
The piece that represents the soldiers is a silhouette of the boots, weapon and Kevlar of a fallen soldier with a man crouched down before it. To represent the N.Y. City firefighters a diamond plate was used with the twin towers in front of it and surrounded by flames. A metal shield represents the N.Y. police officers and it is formed in the shape and design of their patch.
“I've taken a lot of time and effort to make sure it looks presentable,” White said. “I take a lot of pride in what I do because that is how I was raised.”
White proudly added, “My dad was a welder and a machinist and it's just something that came natural to me. I started to learn when I was 13 and now I have almost 15 years of experience. I love every second of what I do.”
The sculpture was displayed at the 10th anniversary remembrance ceremony held at Forward Operating Base Walton, Sept. 11. From Walton the sculpture will be sent to the World Trade Center Tribute Center in hopes from there it will find a home in the World Trade Center Museum when it opens.
“After we are all dead and gone, metal is something that doesn't fade away, White said, “This is something that will be around to be remembered no matter whose hand it passes to, or where it goes from here.”
By Army Spc. April York
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs
Provided through DVIDS
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