Commemorating 9/11 Through Art

Islip High School senior Katherine Curran may have only been in second-grade on Sept. 11, 2001, but she vividly remembers being grateful that her father, Thomas, a lieutenant in the New York City Fire Department, was unharmed. So, it was an honor for Katie to be asked to use her artistic abilities to create a pin in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of that fateful day.

Katie received a request from family friend Michael Fitall, a lieutenant for FDNY Ladder Company 143, to design a lapel pin as a tribute to the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. “I would like this tribute to reflect not only the memory of that day, but also the 343 flags that honor all of the firefighters at every St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” wrote Lieutenant Fitall in his letter to Katie.

Excited and honored to be asked to create the commemorative pin, Katie spent a month from idea to implementation using watercolor paint to create her design. The design features an American flag, the Twin Towers, a purple and black flag with the numbers 343 embossed on it and the words “Never Forget.” As a thank you, Katie attended the parade and received her own copy of the pin, as well as a letter of gratitude from FDNY Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano.

Additionally, Katie is using her artistic skills to attain her Girl Scout Gold Award. A member of the Girl Scouts for 10 years, Katie is working with the South Shore Community Organization to create seasonal craft projects for children. The Gold Award is the highest honor given to a Girl Scout and all materials for the projects must be donated.