The Leesburg Parks and Recreation Department has submitted two proposals to the Town Council to build a permanent memorial to victims of Sept. 11, 2001, at the entrance to Freedom Park.
"We felt that it was appropriate to do some sort of lasting tribute or memorial to [Sept. 11] in a small-town fashion," said Kaj Dentler, parks and recreation director.
Dentler said department employees have been discussing what that memorial should be since October 2001, when the Town Council officially named the 20-acre site along Route 621 and Tolbert Lane as Freedom Park in memory of the 9/11 victims.
Bill Ference, a landscape architect in the department, sketched two designs that are to be discussed by the council at its work session Nov. 25.
One features a 30-foot flag pole, rising over a small cube with a plaque in a small pavilion with two blue benches in front of the flag and seven dogwood trees behind it.
In the other, the flag would rise above a squat, stone Pentagon-shaped base, bracketed by eight-foot-high black replicas of the World Trade Center towers in a small pavilion. A semicircle of seven dogwood trees would stand behind the flag in this design, too.
Dentler said most department employees preferred the first, simpler idea, as did a citizens advisory commission.
"We weren't victimized the way the Pentagon was or the World Trade Center was," said Fred Lillis, a member of the advisory commission. "We wanted to honor the victims, but we didn't want to overshadow other localities."
Only one Loudoun County resident was killed on Sept. 11, 2001. Dong C. Lee, a Boeing engineer from Leesburg, died on American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon.
Freedom Park, which will open next spring, will have four baseball/softball fields and a soccer/football field, all of which will be named after Leesburg residents who have supported local sports.