A local business owner wants to rename the village’s Metra rail stop “Oak Lawn-Patriot Station” in honor
Dr. Sandra Bury, who led efforts on behalf of the Oak Lawn Rotary Club to raise funds to build the installation with beams from the fallen World Trade Center, is asking residents to express their support of the proposal to the mayor.
“The Rotary’s job was to raise money for the sculpture,” Bury said. “I’m doing this as a citizen. The main commitment was to get the sculpture built.”
that was able to acquire steel from the New York-New Jersey Port Authority that owned the World Trade Center.
Bury said she has already contacted U.S. Dan Lipinski’s (IL-3) office about renaming the station, where the monument is located. Now she wants Mayor Dave Heilmann’s support and is asking residents to email a letter available a letter in support of the new name available on Monumental Oak Lawn website.
“The World Trade Center monument gives our town a unique identity,” Bury said. “”It’s not a military memorial. Our first responders and steel from the World Trade Center speaks as much to the spirit of America as much as a solider in uniform.”
In her letter to the mayor, Bury said,
“The Oak Lawn Metra Station is the gateway for the southwest suburbs … It is a good and beautiful thing to let every traveler know that Oak Lawn has this unique memorial. It is a destination for the region and should be recognized as such on train literature, announcements and maps. To not do this is a missed opportunity to promote Oak Lawn. There is no ‘down side’ to doing this.”
Bury said that “tiny Oak Lawn” has done more with its World Trade Center steel compared to most larger cities.
Heilmann said he is amenable to the idea but wants to make sure that a full discussion takes place first before making a decision “that will last for generations.”
“Why the name ‘patriot’? It’s a first responders' monument and a tragic event in our history,” the mayor said. “Is there a more descriptive name? I’m not critical of it. Let’s make sure we think it through because what we decide could actually have broader implications what we do around that station in terms of development and presentation.”
Bury said the installation is almost completed, with just a few final details to be completed, such as stone caps for the walls and donor paver signs. The Rotary Club may also have one more fundraiser.
“I’m proud of the quality of the art,” she said. “It speaks to people beyond Oak Lawn. The best way to do that is to give the [Metra station] a unique name and not just call it the ‘train station.’ It’s a little grander than that.”
Heilmann said he planned to take up the issue of renaming the train station “Oak Lawn-Patriot Station” at the next village board meeting on Feb. 14.