The Hermosa Beach Police Department Chaplain Program and Kiwanis Builders Club, a service program for middle-school students, are proposing to make a bench that will memorialize the victims of 9/11.
The bench would be located near Valley Drive and Pier Avenue on the town greenbelt. It would be embedded with 2,973 buttons—one to represent each life lost.
"We wanted a highly visible location," said Lt. Tom Thompson of the Hermosa Beach Police Department. "It's right by the library and kids walk by going to school every day."
Thompson and Cathy McCurdy, a Kiwanis member who is advising the project, presented the idea Wednesday night to the Public Works Commission. The commission held off on approving the bench, however, because the Kiwanis did not have the project's renderings completed.
The groups will present their proposal again during the next Public Works Commission meeting on May 19. It then goes to the City Council for final approval.
"It is beyond time that we recognized those people," said Commissioner Daniel Marinelli.
The bench's design would be similar to other wood and metal benches throughout Hermosa Beach, although its wooden slats would be thicker than what are currently being used. The slats would be gouged out, and the symbolic buttons inlaid.
Doctor+Teak Inc., a Gardena-based furniture maintenance and restoration company, has already offered to contribute the inlay work. The buttons would be sealed into the slats with translucent resin.
Extra buttons would likely be used in a pathway leading up to the bench. Hermosa school district students have already collected more than 6,000 buttons from friends, neighbors and relatives eager to contribute to the project.
McCurdy and Thompson said they also hope to receive a piece of the collapsed World Trade Center to display nearby.
Pending approval of the bench, a dedication ceremony has been tentatively planned for Sept. 11, 2010. McCurdy hopes to have an assembly at Hermosa Valley Elementary School the day before so that the students can learn about what happened on 9/11.
"It's really for the kids," said Commissioner Julian Katz. "Some of them weren't even born yet."