Former Toledoan making progress carving first responder memorial

Former Toledoan making progress carving first responder memorial
Artist Steve Gore (Source: WTOL)
Artist Steve Gore (Source: WTOL)

(WTOL) - Fallen Toledo firefighters, 9/11 first responders and other heroes are being remembered in a special wood-carved memorial that will be completed in a few months.

We showed you the designs last month and were able to see it coming together inside an abandoned warehouse in rural southeast Indiana.

For the last year, Steve Gore has been working on the memorial for ten hours a day.

Gore is with the non-profit Chainsaws For Charity and his American First Responders Memorial Monument is his obsession.

It started when Toledo firefighters Stephen Machcinski and Jamie Dickman died in a 2014 fire.

"We saw it on the news. And then the phone rang. Can you design something for us?" said Gore.

Toledo's Fallen Heroes

The part of the memorial that honors the two men is taking shape.

There's a framed photo of Machcinski fighting a nightclub fire in 2013, carved and painted flames, and soon, there will be a dramatic scene that will depict Machcinski and Dickman rescuing a boy from a basement fire.

"They lost their lives and their families' lives were thrown into complete chaos over a random act of violence, crime, greed, whatever," said Gore. "That struck home to me."

The memorial is also honoring those who lost their lives on 9/11.

The steps that come down from the right side of the memorial aren't just steps.

They look like tail sections of four planes that were intentionally crashed or went down on 9/11.

The memorial also features an eagle and lion over the towers with a storyline that follows a narrative about 9/11.

"Four planes went down that day during their cowardly attack. The eagle screamed and the mighty lion awoke with a roar as the youth of our country signed up eagerly to go to war," said Gore.

Chainsaws For Charity believes the memorial will be seen by tens of thousands of people.

"People do still care even after all this time has passed. We as a nation still do care and we do want everyone to never forget, ever," said Kathy Dickman of the non-profit group.

In 2009, Steve was savagely attacked by a man carrying a baseball bat outside his home in Woodville.

He now struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The memorial will also raise awareness of PTSD and for Steve, this is therapy.

"When the tools are spinning and everything else, I am concentrating on what I am doing so I am literally free from all the noise that is PTSD," Gore said.

When completed by the holiday season, the memorial will have four main sculptures. Two are being worked on now, which are the fire and first responder sections. The two remaining sections will be military and law enforcement tributes.

You can also see a tribute to the 19 elite firefighters killed battling a wildfire in Arizona.

Steve is also carving out a bagpiper, which is traditionally seen at funerals for fire, police and military members.

Kathy Dickman, stops by the warehouse frequently to take a look.

"Every time I come back to the shop, it has some new aspect or nuance to it. So it's always evolving, just like Steve said," said Kathy.

They will take the memorial on the road in 2017 and they promise that Toledo will be one of the stops.

"It's going to glow in the dark. it's going to be an overload on your senses," Gore said.

The memorial monument should be completed by the holidays.

Gore hopes the memorial will help bring back a post 9/11 feeling to those who see it.

"You couldn't go anywhere without seeing an American flag. Everyone was united, people passed each other in gas stations, grocery stores, (saying) hey brother how are you? We're Americans! And now it's not," Gore said.

Click here to make donations to the memorial or the organization.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2016 WTOL. All rights reserved.