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Local Business Owner Seeks Mayor's Support to Rename Metra Station

Hoping to brand Oak Lawn as a regional destination, a local business owner has proposed renaming the Metra station "Oak Lawn-Patriot Station' in honor of 9/11 memorial.

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.

Dave W. February 07, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Everybody involved is justified in being proud. Nobody, I think, feels that Dr. Bury has anything but the best intentions, or any political agenda. That doesn't mean that the name is automatically perfect, nor that it reflects the will or sentiment of the residents. While the memorial itself may 'belong' to the Rotary Club, the station obviously does not. It will speak to who we all are, and as such it should be agreed upon by the same. Lastly, to the actual naming itself. While the word 'Patriot' might or might not have a politcal agenda associated with it, to be honest, I dont think it really fits the subject matter. Logically speaking, the people who ran up the stairs, pulled people from wreckage, tended the wounded; they were regular Amercians, doing their regular jobs, on the most irregular of days. While they are certainly heroes in many ways, none of them did anything, I am willing to bet, with the thought "I am doing this because I'm American", or "This will show those terrorist!". Soldiers, even spies or astronauts might sign up for duty with such thoughts, but on that day, in the middle of it all, they were acting heroically, but because they were extraordinary people who happened to BE Americans or love America, not inherently because they felt they were serving some great American cause. How about something like "Oak Lawn - Monument Station" or "Oak Lawn - Memorial Station"? It gives a sense that something important is there, without being overwrought about it.
andy skoundrianos February 08, 2012 at 05:29 AM
I think no one really gets what the term Patriot means. I think everyone has a different opinion, Why can't a hero be a Patriot?? I certainly do not have a preference. I just do not want this to become a political event,with some politician taking credit for their name idea over someone else's.....
JohnEggert February 08, 2012 at 02:17 PM
"There are two kinds of people, those that do the work and those that take the credit. Try to be in the first group, there is less competition there."
Dave W. February 08, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Andy, I would like to agree with as a general concept, but in reality, not every patriot is a hero, nor is every hero a patriot. Words have the meanings we give them for a reason. It doesn't take away from a single person who worked on anything or anyone that day, but that doesn't inherently make them 'PATRIOTS'. They aren't mutally exclusive OR inclusive to each other. They MAY overlap, but they often do not. The local fire department, or police, or any other public servant, they don't pull somebody from a car wreck then say to bystanders or a local press that "I did it for America". They do it from a sense of duty to their community, their local community. There is NOTHING wrong with that, it IS to be commended, and they ARE still heroes. It just isn't logical to muddle the word 'patriotism' with heroism. Perhaps "Oak Lawn - Heroes Monument"? Also, clearly this process has already taken the word places it didn't need to go...A better idea might be to have a non-binding referendum of sorts that lets' people vote on a limited selection of names. Let democracy ring, right? It can be voted on during the regular elections upcoming, at minimal extra cost (if any). If "Patriot" wins...eh...I don't have to agree with it, but I'll at least agree with the process, which is what living in the United States is all about...feeling like our vote counts (even if we don't always think it does...). Voting for a station name or president...if not heroic, at least patriotic.
Oak Lawn Gal February 08, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Having a non-binding referendum on this would be a great solution! Let all of those people who vote in Oak Lawn make the decision.

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