Green Bay's Park Committee wants to preserve current 9/11 memorial not remove it

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Green Bay’s Parks Committee wants to preserve the city’s 9/11 memorial, while looking into ways to raise money to fix the broken granite.

The committee members made the motion Wednesday night, after city council members tasked them with finding out what is buried within the base of the monument.

At last week’s city council meeting, Barb Jack said there was human DNA in a capsule buried inside the concrete monument.

“A piece of Pentagon stone in it, there was a golden painted tube with a remnant of a victim in there,” said Jack.

Because of those claims, city council members voted, 10-2, to send it back to committee for further review.

Two weeks ago Green Bay held a special ceremony to decommission the 9/11 monument by removing a steel beam, the only piece of the monument they thought directly was tied to the 9/11 attacks, and putting it in the entrance of the Green Bay Police Department. The plan was to leave the beam there until a new monument was made and put in a future public safety building. But the new information provided by Jack halted those plan and raised more questions.

“Interesting information presented at the council that many haven't heard before, at least I haven't heard,” said Alderman David Nennig, chairman of the Parks Committee.

The city’s Park, Recreation and Forestry Director, Dawne Cramer, did her own digging, trying to find any documents related to the claims.

“Other than the group saying it was buried in the concrete, we have no reason to doubt them but the city has no written documentation in any of their files about this,” said Cramer.

The Parks Committee decided more should be done and has unanimously approved a motion to stop all decommissioning plans and work toward preserving the existing 9/11 memorial.

“So we are saying we want to preserve this and under that umbrella we will do some fact finding for future, what exactly is in there…and what options are there? What is it going to cost us to fix?” said Alderman Chris Wery.

According to a city estimate back in 2009, it would have been about $36,000-$38,000 to replace the granite, which would likely be much higher now.

The Parks Committee also talked about creating a new committee to help in those fundraising efforts, which is something Jack would be happy to help out with in the future.

“I think they did the right decision. I think it needs to come back. I don't think it's going to be hard to raise the money,” said Jack.

She wasn’t willing to provide documentation of the items within the monument to Action 2 News Wednesday night, which is something many city council members have asked to see.

“I have stuff in here, but I am not sharing it with the press,” said Jack. “that is private information with the families.”
But Jack said she is willing to share it with those who would be on the future committee.

“Absolutely that is what I came here prepared to do,” said Jack.

Cramer said the city’s legal team has reached out to New York City’s medical examiner to determine if they have any records on where the remains from Ground Zero were laid to rest and she said they haven’t heard back from them yet.

The motion will go up for discussion at the next city council meeting.