LAWRENCE (WIBW) -- Pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center towers, two steel beams from the structures continue to serve as a memorial on this 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. They are on display at the university's Dole Institute of Politics at KU.
The two beams — 10 1/2 feet long and 4 feet in diameter — are displayed near the reflecting pool in front of the institute's building now under construction. 13 News visited current Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy for the report you see on this link. You can learn more about the current impact displaying the beams still has, here in Northeast Kansas.
"The Dole Institute is all about service," said Richard Norton Smith, presidential historian who was director of the Dole Institute during its first opening, and inclusion of the two beams as a permanent display in Lawrence.
"We're trying to make a visual connection between the sacrifices of the World War II generation and the sacrifices of the current generation."
Bob Dole, the former U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate from Russell, approached the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and in making the request, Dole reminded City Hall of KU's generous response at the time of the terrorist attacks — the student body raised more than $30,000 in two days, and sales of a "United We Stand" T-shirt and pin featuring the 1941 Jayhawk mascot raised more than $50,000 to help provide scholarships for the children of Sept. 11 victims.
Weighing roughly 1,500 pounds each, the beams at KU were cut to the Dole Institute's specifications. As such, they are about five times larger than sections given to other communities that have requested pieces for local memorials.
The institute's 28,000-square-foot home, located on KU's West Campus, was dedicated on July 22, 2003, Senator Dole's 80th birthday. The September 11th memorial was dedicated on the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks, in that fall of 2003.