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“Respect Project” Takes Shape By Randy Conat

Burton — (09/11/03)– Work continues on the construction of a police and fire memorial in Burton. ABC12’s Randy Conat reports an idea talked about for years is finally taking shape.

A welding shop in Flint has been a busy place for the past year. A stainless steel figure of a police officer looks on while work continues on a similar-looking fire fighter.

The two silhouettes, both more than seven feet tall, will stand with their heads bowed at the Burton City Hall complex in a tribute to those who those who protect and serve.

Although the monument had been discussed before the events of September 11th, the attacks became one more reason to see the idea through to completion.

“This is about some of the sadness police officers and fire fighters encounter during their tours of duty. It’s about respect for their professions. That’s why we call this project the Respect Project,” said sculpton Dennis Gardner.

Both figures weigh more than 200 pounds. They’ll be filled with sand when they’re set up for display. About 100 man hours have been spent on the project.

The stainless steel can be demanding, even for an experienced welder. “It’s been quite a challenge forming the stainless steel into the silhouettes,” Dennis said.

Even though the sculpting is nearly done, it’s not clear as to when the figures will be put up. A lot of fund raising needs to be done in order to build the foundation they’ll stand on.

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Welding Plus, Inc. | P.O. Box 4001 | Flint, Mi. 48504 | Phone: (810) 234-0898