Fireman Sculpture for 9/11 Memorial on Display

Sculptor Scott Stearman and Fireman



Members of the 9/11 Tribute Memorial Committee hosted a gathering of area residents this past Sunday, March 12th, to view the clay sculpture of a fireman, a representation of the bronze figure which will be attached to the 9/11 Memorial adjacent to the Big Timbers Museum on Highway 50 in Lamar a few days prior to this year’s 9/11 commemoration.

Committee past president, Doug Harbour, said the fireman represents all those who perished from their response to the World Trade Center Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. “The fireman’s hat on the sculpture bears the number 343, the number of those firemen who gave their lives on that day,” he explained.

Center Wall Will Display the Finished Sculptures

For a couple of years now, efforts have been underway by Harbour and the committee to raise funds to have three sculptures at the memorial site representing those who gave their all for their country; fireman, policeman and soldier.  The cost does not come cheap as the estimated price of just one completed sculpture is about $28,000 at current pricing and the future sculptures may involve a higher monetary cost.

Scott Stearman, the sculptor who created the memorial artwork, was present at the Lamar Community Building on Sunday and described some of his efforts to bring the work to fruition.  “We do want the work to be as accurate as possible,” he said, adding that he spent time with members of the Lamar Fire Department, researching the type of equipment firemen wore back in 2001 that responded to the Trade Towers emergency.

“I researched some photos from that decade for the mask and bag they wore as well as the air regulator for their air tanks,” he said.  The oil clay figure is malleable when warm and there were several hooks and clasps that had been embedded into the material where a coat would be secured.  The mold covers a Styrofoam base and the clay is about a half-inch at its thickest portion.

“From here, the mold goes to the Loveland Art Casting foundry where it goes through several processes, turning out what you would think would be a negative photo, then another mold that would be like a positive, until you’re left with a ceramic slurry that is poured into another mold, fired and hardened and from that the bronze sculpture is finished and waiting for some colorization and shading.”

Stearman became very emphatic about the need for durability in this piece of work and the other two that are scheduled to follow.  “You don’t have to go far to find someone who had a friend, relation or knows someone who suffered a lost on 9/11 and it is that knowledge that keeps me on message.  I’ve done this for 35 years, building monuments all over the country.  A monument that is a tribute is one thing and a monument that is a memorial carries a weight that is pretty important.”

He continued, “I’ve done battle crosses that most families are going to stand in front of, special forces and warriors that have died in battle and I know their families or their kids or their grandchildren, someday will stand in front of that.  My goal is to tell the story well.  The sculpture can help with the loss.  Everybody who attends the unveiling in September, this will outlive us all.  And so, the story has to be true, it has to be accurate, and it has to be well executed so future generations will be able to stand here and have an answer to their question of what was 9/11.”

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarEducationEventsFeaturedHistory


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