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Memorial in works for Sulphur native Keene, who died in 9/11 attacks

Last Modified: Saturday, February 23, 2013 1:17 AM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

Fundraising is ongoing for the Leo Russell Keene III memorial, and the design for the monument is in its “rough draft stage,” according to Mayor Chris Duncan.

In November, the City Council unanimously approved the establishment of a memorial fund to raise money to honor the Sulphur native who died in the 9/11 attacks with a memorial to be erected in The Grove — the $1.2 million Heritage Square expansion.

Keene died Sept. 11, 2001, when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. He helped two women 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, was a financial analyst for Keefe, Bruyette and Woods for two years on the 88th and 89th floors of the south tower.

Duncan said he recently met with Eric Manuel, creative director at the Brimstone Museum, and Norman Farr, Sulphur Parks and Recreation director, to discuss ideas for Manuel to complete a “preliminary sketch.”

“We are now critiquing the sketch because we have several things that we could do,” Duncan said. “We have to decide on if we want to move the Vietnam and other memorials in front of the old City Hall location to the location this memorial will be, so they will all be in one area.”

Duncan said the original plan to have the memorial complete by the Sept. 7 car show is no longer an option because the process is taking longer than expected. But the final plans and design will be unveiled at the annual Stars and Stripes car show in Heritage Square. “We are also deciding on if we want to put a brick pathway around the memorial so that people can buy the bricks in memory of other servicemen and women,” he said. “Everything is still just a concept right now, and we don’t want to release the design until we are done tweaking and touching up.”

Donations for the memorial can be made at the Community Foundation, 120 Pujo St., Suite 120, or at City Hall, 101 N. Huntington St. in Sulphur.

For more information, call City Hall at 527-4500.

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