Deployed Soldier Creates 9/11 Memorial Sculpture

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A Fort Carson soldier deployed to Afghanistan may have the opportunity to see his artwork in the World Trade Center Museum when it opens.

Sgt. Robert White with Company B, 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, was asked by his battalion commander to design and weld a sculpture for a 9/11 remembrance ceremony.

Chief Warrant Officer Gene Balderman, assigned the job of finding the perfect soldier to make the sculpture, said White was up to the challenge.

The sculpture took three weeks and roughly 100 hours to build, according to a release from Fort Carson. It consists of three individual pieces mounted on a triangular plate, and pays tribute to the soldiers, firefighters and police officers who lost their lives on 9/11. White said an image of what the sculpture should look like just popped into his head.

“When I create, I get a picture in my head and I just go with it,” White said. White began learning how to weld at 13, and has 15 years experience.

According to Fort Carson, the sculpture has a piece that uses a silhouette of the boots, weapon and Kevlar of a fallen soldier with a man crouched before it to represent fallen soldiers; a diamond plate with the Twin Towers in front of it, surrounded by flames to represent fallen firefighters; and a metal shield in the shape of a police patch to represent fallen officers.

"The project is about selfless service," White said. "It's about unselfish people doing great things."

The sculpture was displayed at the 9/11 ceremony on Forward Operating Base Walton in Afghanistan Sunday, and will now be sent to the World Trade Center Tribute Center. The hope is that it will be displayed in the museum once 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."

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