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City Council approves memorial for Sulphur native who died in 9/11 attacks

Last Modified: Monday, November 19, 2012 11:32 AM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

SULPHUR — The city is in the early stages of planning a memorial for a Sulphur native who died in the 9/11 attacks.

The City Council unanimously approved the establishment of a Leo Russell Keene III Memorial Fund in its Nov. 13 meeting. The fund will serve to raise money for a memorial to be erected in The Grove — the park expansion to Heritage Square.

Keene died in the Sept. 11 attacks when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. He helped two female co-workers escape through the bottom of an elevator, but he and 14 others didn’t make it out of the elevator before the collapse.

Keene, 33, worked as a financial analyst for Keefe, Bruyette and Woods for two years on the 88th and 89th floors of the south tower.

Mayor Chris Duncan said the idea came about in an Armed Forces Committee meeting.

“We were talking about doing some things, and it hit us at that point that we had lost one of our own,” he said. “We thought it would be great for the committee to go out and take this on as a project.”

Duncan said it hasn’t been decided what the memorial will entail yet, but the planning phase will begin soon.

“We wanted to go ahead and get the funds set up so we could get started,” he said. “The next phase will be calling in some designers to start looking at that end of it.”

He said that after the design is done, the next phase will be “hitting the fund raising pretty heavily.”

The fund was established through a cooperative agreement with the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana.

Duncan said any remaining money from the project will go to fund other military displays planned in the future.

The memorial is expected to be completed by the annual Stars and Stripes Car Show, Sept. 7.

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