Mayor Mark Boughton announced at a community 9/11 memorial service in 2003 that the City of Danbury would erect a permanent 9/11 Memorial on September 11, 2004. Mayor Boughton appointed Rev. Albert Audette, Jr. to chair a 9/11 Memorial Committee with representatives of the 9/11 families from Danbury, members of the Danbury Police and Fire Department and the Greater Danbury Coalition for a Community United. The committee was given $45,000 for the project and asked to design an appropriate tribute to the residents of Danbury lost in the 9/11 attacks.
The 9/11 Memorial Committee began their task by selecting a world-renowned glass artist to design a sculpture for Danbury. Henry Richardson of Lenox, Massachusetts met with the Committee several times and presented samples of his work. A glass tower design similar to his sculpture owned by the DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park in Massachusetts was selected for the Danbury 9/11 Memorial. DeCordova’s curators commented, “Henry Richardson uses glass to explore geometric shapes that he creates with careful attention to surface and color, sculpting glass in the manner in which most artists chisel stone. Unlike stone sculptors, however, he simultaneously works the material in a reductive and additive manner, layering the glass while chipping it away to create texture. This smooth/rough texture refracts light, adding tactile and visual interest.”
The Danbury 9/11 Memorial, located on the south island of Elmwood Park on Main Street, is a twelve-foot tower of glass mounted on a pentagon of Connecticut granite. All Connecticut victims’ names of the 9/11 tragedy are etched into one panel of the tower. Danbury residents’ names are highlighted at eye-level. The glass tower will be lighted from dusk to dawn.
Mayor Boughton lead the dedication ceremony on Saturday, September 11, 2004 at 11:00 AM. The ceremony included keynote speakers from the Danbury Police Department and the Danbury Fire Department. Musical presentations were from the Immaculate High School Chorus, the Danbury High School Madrigals, DHS Chorus, DHS Marching Band, The Waterbury Police Pipe Band and the Celtic Cross of Danbury. A soloist from the Hat City Musical Theatre opened and closed the program.
The Danbury community embraced the 9/11 Memorial with generous donations to complete the $110,000 project. Numerous cash and in-kind donations added to the city’s $45,000 commitment produced a spectacular addition to Danbury as a very special permanent tribute to our neighbors lost on September 11, 2001.