M. Garcia & Sons Inc.
Plans for the Collier County Freedom Memorial began in 2004 when the Board of Commissioners declared September as Freedom Month in Collier County. They wanted to create a memorial that paid tribute to members of the armed forces, law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel who gave their lives on September 11th, 2001 during the terrorist attacks.
After the Collier County Board of Commissioners endorsed the idea of building the Freedom Memorial, a wide appeal was made to artists to submit proposals for a memorial design that reflected American freedom and values. The Freedom Memorial should pay tribute to members of the armed forces who sacrificed their lives in the defense of the USA, honor law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and civilians who died in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, acknowledge the survivors of all terrorist attacks and show consideration for the family members, and symbolically display the strength of the American spirit in times of tragedy. An independent jury panel reviewed the eligible, anonymous submissions and selected the design of an artist who recently moved to Naples from Massachusetts whose design encompassed the desires for the memorial beautifully.
The manufacturer was contacted by the local designer when Collier County determined they wanted domestic fabrication and material for the project. The manufacturer’s wide selection of domestic granite colors as well as fabrication capabilities confirmed the partnership. Precise fabrication was necessary to create the stars in the waving flag, as well as the curved granite pieces for the stripes. 3D Modeling and CAD drawings were created to confirm an exact fit for the various intricate pieces on the memorial assuring a smooth installation.
After years of planning and fundraising, the memorial in Naples, FL has finally been set in stone. As visitors approach the memorial, set in the northeast corner of the 50 acre Fred W. Coyle Freedom Park, a bronze plaque contains a description sitting upon Lake Superior Green® and Sunset Red® granite. At the center of the memorial stands a 13 foot tall by 40 foot wide waving flag. Carnelian® granite creates the stars of the flag, Sunset Red® in two finishes, Thermal and Polish, was utilized for the stripes, Mesabi Black® pavers and treads create a base shaped as the United States and Kasota Valley® Limestone pavers surround the front of the base. An eagle, rough shaped on a 5-axs milling machine and then meticulously hand-carved in Limestone sits on the column next to the flag. Visitors can walk up and touch two steel slabs from the World Trade Center, or admire the flag and three granite benches that memorialize the three attacks of that day. In total, just about 4,900 square feet of natural stone was used to bring this design to life. Dedication took place in September of 2016.