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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.

oaklawnperson February 03, 2012 at 08:56 PM
If the idea is to highlight that there's a 9-11 memorial, than why note the "Oak Lawn/9-11 Memorial" Station instead of Oak Lawn-Patriot? At least that tells people what's there, and it doesn't have political overtones. Although I find it extremely hard to believe that renaming the station and highlighting the memorial is going to create some sort of tourism boom for Oak Lawn. Which, by the way, if attracting visitors is the sell for renaming the station, it's nice to know the 9-11 victims died for the greater cause of getting out-of-towners to eat in our restaurants.
renaming not needed February 03, 2012 at 10:10 PM
The monument is simply awesome No doubt about it. Those involved deserve our gratitude. Oak Lawn Patriot Station just sounds too odd. It's a First Responders memorial. Aren't those serving our country patriotic? How does the memorial recognize their efforts? it's the Oak Lawn 9-11 First Responders Memorial at the Oak Lawn Metra Station. The idea is well intentioned, but it just doesn't make much sense. Also, what signs would be changed?
John Quinn Mucker February 03, 2012 at 11:39 PM
I at first agreed with Dr. Bury. Renaming the Station would aid in bringing attention to the beautifully done and thought provoking memorial nearing completion on the site. Upon reflection, I find that my thoughts go more with Wendy and oaklawnperson. We don't want to evoke the wrong image with a name. I absolutely feel that Dr. Bury has nothing but the best of intentions and I feel that she would also be open to this dialogue on the issue of name. I realize it may be a bit unwieldy, but the name of the sculpture is "First Responders Memorial", or at least that is the name on the temporary sign. So....."Oak Lawn - First Responders Memorial Station" is now my thought. Quinn Mucker
Barb February 04, 2012 at 04:06 AM
I like renaming the station but the word 'Patriot' does not seem descriptive enough. I agree with Oak Lawn 9/11 Memorial Station or Oak Lawn 9/11 First Responders Memorial Station. It's a wonderful idea whatever the name becomes.
Sandra Bury February 04, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Hi everyone and thank you for your comments. The Memorial will forever be the “Oak Lawn Rotary Club’s 9/11 First Responder Memorial.” Changing the Metra Station will not change that. I agree that there is no better description for the Memorial. What is being discussed is how to best let folks in the area know it exists. As an Oak Lawn Resident and local Business owner, I know Oak Lawn is the Southland’s best kept secret. Does Oak Lawn have a distinctive “brand?” If it does, show me. The iconic symbol for Oak Lawn is our water tower. While it is a lovely water tower, it is not descriptive of the wonderful people or quality of life that we have here.
Sandra Bury February 04, 2012 at 01:06 PM
The Oak Lawn Rotary Club’s 9/11 First Repsonder Memorial is the most beautiful project that I have ever worked on because of the outpouring of community support of area enthusiasts. In my mind, this shows the character and very fiber of what makes Oak Lawn a great community to live, work and shop. This is why I and many others love Oak Lawn. A commenter posted that it was a ploy to drive business to town at the expense of the 9/11 disaster victims. We are building the Memorial so that our First Responders are honored, as well as the victims. It also honors the resilience of the American Spirit. Do I want more people to come to Oak Lawn to view it? Of course I do. This is a bad thing to add a layer of vibrance to a town center that badly needs it? The last time I checked, the word Patriot did not belong to any political party. The last time I checked, our First Responder’s colors are red, white and blue and they proudly wear the flag on their uniforms. If I can be so bold as to speak as to the motives of the hundreds of volunteers and donors, I would say that each of them acted out of love for our country and community. The definition of Patriotic is “inspired by love of your country.” Nothing more. No dark motives, only love.
Sandra Bury February 04, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Thanks Jim! I agree!
Sandra Bury February 04, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Thanks Colleen! I agree! It's a beautiful description for what transpired at the station this year, and also ties in the Children's Museum "We the People" exhibit under construction. Oak Lawn proudly flies the flags along 95th Street. What's wrong with loving our country and community?
Sandra Bury February 04, 2012 at 01:14 PM
The train station signs would be changed, and it would appear as Patriot Station on maps and literature. It would identify Oak Lawn as a special destination of interest to tourists, perhaps.
OL Resident February 04, 2012 at 04:51 PM
There was a time when the word Patriot meant every American who loved their country. They flew the flag on holidays and if it stayed out on the post a few days longer no one cared. The saluted or placed their hand over their heart at HS games and parades. Now the Tea Party as claimed ownership of it and makes it hard to share.....but this feeling will pass in time. After the Clinton- Lewinsky story broke out I remember watching a news story that ex Green Berets were complaining that they would have to stop wearing their cover to veterans functions because it would remind people of the famous Monica picture hugging Clinton wearing a dark colored beret. The ex Green Berets were right to be upset. It is how they identify themselves from other services..... but just like a bad haircut, the feelings passed. I dont look at a beret that way anymore. Renaming the station will serve (not much more than) a civic pride for our monument; and that is just fine with me. I think a name to remember the first responders is more appropriate. Patriot sounds to me like I tweet Rush Limbaugh 24/7.....but like a bad haircut.........
andy skoundrianos February 04, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Stop with the political views about the naming of the memorial. As Dr. Bury puts it the word patriot doesn't belong to any political party..
OL Resident February 05, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Andy, the article was written by the author to encourage dialogue. That means that people with different views and backrounds will voice their opinions. That is what a good newspaper reporter wants; a dialogue for the work they write. If you dont believe me ask Lorraine. If nobody comments on this subject; it is a dead article. Dr Bury states (a Webster's partial) defination of the word Patriot. I do not think Dr Bury wants it to denote any political party. I do not think you want it devoted to any party. Not everyone obviously feels this way. You have no right to censure people who choose to think different from you. It's called cyber bullying and it is wrong. Let the people who want to do good hear what the public thinks. I wont stop them from choosing their name..it's their baby, they worked hard for it. It is still their choice. This is not your article, I wish you would be more respectful of other peoples comments.
andy skoundrianos February 05, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Ol Resident we don't agree on most subjects,including this one, You have every right to not want the word patriot, You are using this forum to rip on tea party members for somehow co opting the word Patriot. That has nothing to do with the article and should not be the reason to like or dislike the word Patriot..
Dave W. February 05, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Wow, SO many things to address here...in no particluar order of importance: If, indeed, Oak Lawn truly doesn't have an identity (which seems far-fetched, but, okay...) do we want that identity to be a death memorial for people we watched on Tv safely from a thousand+ miles away? Are we really a secret? Do people NOT know a town of 55,000+ exists here? J. Garrett wrote, and Dr. Bury agreed with, ..."the 9/11 First Responders Memorial will become a destination driver for the entire Chicago Southland region...". Dr. Bury went on to say "As an Oak Lawn Resident and local Business owner..." and "...this shows...what makes Oak Lawn a great community to live, work and shop." Contrast this with Dr. Bury then stating "A commenter posted that it was a ploy to drive business to town at the expense of the 9/11 disaster victims." Intimating that the poster was offbase. That is precisely the inferred thought one gets when reading those statements. Why mention those things otherwise? To be continued...
Dave W. February 05, 2012 at 09:51 PM
What, one might objectively ask, IS the purpose of the memorial, beyond it memorializing those first responders who died that tragic day? While it is something to remind us, to help us reflect upon the event, what purpose is there? "To add a layer of vibrance to a town center that badly needs it?" as Dr. Bury says? Two disparate things there: One, I don't feel if I travel, say, to the Holocaust Museum in Skokie that Skokie is more 'vibrant' because of that...tragedy is only that, not "a destination driver" as Mr. Garrett states. We aren't opening an amusement park, tying it to the "the Children's Museum "We the People" exhibit" isn't necessary; both are great ideas unto themselves. Also, though, isn't Oak Lawn vibrant when the carnival is going, or Fall on the Green, or movies and concerts on The Green? Don't we have the best library in the South Suburbs (if not most of Illinois)? So then, is THIS memorial is THE thing that will put Oak Lawn on the map (now, after 100+ years later), and ONLY with the name 'Patriot' attached to the METRA station? The memorial is a great civic acheivement, I doubt anybody is thinking otherwise. (For the rest of this ramble, please see the Oak Lawn Patch Facebook page...it seems I got a bit carried away, sorry...)
Dave W. February 05, 2012 at 10:35 PM
What, one might objectively ask, IS the purpose of the memorial, beyond it memorializing those first responders who died that tragic day? While it is something to remind us, to help us reflect upon the event, what purpose is there? "To add a layer of vibrance to a town center that badly needs it?" as Dr. Bury says? Two disparate things there: One, I don't feel if I travel, say, to the Holocaust Museum in Skokie that Skokie is more 'vibrant' because of that...tragedy is only that, not "a destination driver" as Mr. Garrett states. We aren't opening an amusement park, tying it to the "the Children's Museum "We the People" exhibit" isn't necessary; both are great ideas unto themselves. Also, though, isn't Oak Lawn vibrant when the carnival is going, or Fall on the Green, or movies and concerts on The Green? Don't we have the best library in the South Suburbs (if not most of Illinois)? So then, is THIS memorial is THE thing that will put Oak Lawn on the map (now, after 100+ years later), and ONLY with the name 'Patriot' attached to the METRA station? The memorial is a great civic acheivement, I doubt anybody is thinking otherwise. (Continued on the Facebook version of Oak Lawn Patch, guess I got carried away, sorry...)
OL Resident February 06, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Thanks Andy. Am I mad that Tea party wants to own the word Patriot...guilty. Websters lists synonyms for Patriot as: nationalist, jingoist, even Chauvanist (?). My point is: I think the most vocal oppnents dont see the defination of Patriot as you and I did growing up. Do they relate more to the definations of the synonyms of patriot? IDK? I will never say no to a Patriot Station. If words can loose their intended meaning thru slang or over use, patriot is showing up on some peoples radar. I have read all the different views on this and can see where everbody is coming from...so far. Agreement is another issue. I have no right to name this project any more than anyone has a right to name my children....but that is just my view. I need to leave this article alone, and let other people speak. The folks behind this project know how I feel. One can feel their pride and sense of...patriotism. Now they know how some others feel and that is important to this article. Have a great day
Oak Lawn Gal February 06, 2012 at 06:51 PM
First I applaud Dr Bury and the Rotary for the memorial. It's an amazing sculpture. And I think her heart is in the right place. But like it or not the Tea Party has heavily rebranded the term "patriot". Look up Tea Party and you'll find a variety of Tea Party Patriots sites. I don't think patriot is the best term to identify Oak Lawn. Secondly I'm glad Mayor Heilmann realized this topic should be discussed and not acted on quickly. Thirdly I think Dr Bury has opened up a larger question. How do we want Oak Lawn to be thought of? We're a community where it's a great place to raise a family. We are also proud Americans. And many many of us are people of faith (no matter what the faith.) So while I don't think Patriot is the right word I think this is a great subject to discuss and arrive at a name that does identify Oak Lawn. Then use that for the Metra Station.
JohnEggert February 06, 2012 at 07:30 PM
The idea, spirit and thought behind the Rotary memorial to first responders is great. That said, as pointed out by several insightful people above, the twisted way in which the word "patriot" has been co-opted and abused by some in politics almost renders it the wrong term for a memorial to the first responders whose sacrifices on 9/11 are being commemorated. (Not that they weren't patriots, but they were heroes more.) We could let the station carry the name of its town, like every other station along every other METRA route. We could name the area where the sculptures are situated - maybe something simple and dignified like "Memorial Square" or "Memorial Circle" or "Heroes' Square." At Ground Zero, in NYC, the monument is simply called The 9/11 Memorial." Everybody visiting the Oak Lawn station and the Children's Musuem knows what the memorial is for, and if they don't, all they have to do is look at it. You KNOW the provenance of the beams. If not, don't the simple figures "9/11" say it all? Another possibility would be to change the name of either Museum Drive, Narrow Street or Tulley between 96th and the station to something that suits the respect for the memorial. In any case, it's good to have this conversation.
Oak Lawn Gal February 06, 2012 at 09:00 PM
John, You have some great ideas. I love the idea of "Heroes Square" for the area around the Memorial. That's a powerfu phrase and really summarizes what all of the first responders were.
Wendy February 06, 2012 at 09:41 PM
I also agree that John has great ideas with "Memorial Square" or "Heroes Square" or changing the name of Museum Drive to honor the first responders instead of renaming the station. Also, Dr. Bury brought up the signs at the station would be changed. Who would pay for that? The literature that would change, are you referring to the Metra pamphlets with train schedules? I don't think Metra would want to pay to change either of these.
Sandra Bury February 07, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Here is another reason why the contributions of our First Responders, the resilience of the American Spirit and the events of September 11th are all tied to the word "Patriot." http://monumentaloaklawn.com/2012/02/07/should-patriot-day-be-commemorated-at-patriot-station/ The Oak Lawn Metra Station should be called "Oak Lawn - Patriot Station."
Jacqui Podzius Cook February 07, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Politics aside (if that's possible), has anyone contacted Metra about the possibility of doing this? Has the procedure been investigated? Will Oak Lawn have to pay to change the railway maps, the automated announcements, the signage? Changing the name of a major stop along a busy commuter rail system is not something that's decided solely by the will of the people, no matter what you want to rename it.
Sandra Bury February 07, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I believe Metra has no objection and they do update their brochures regularly. I also believe the Congressman supports it. All we need is the Mayor to say ok at this point.
Oak Lawn Gal February 07, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Well there are certainly a variety of opinions on the naming. I hope the Mayor does include public comments in his decision.
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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