Eastern Sign Industries, a leading photoluminescent supplier and architectural sign fabricator in the tri-state area, recently designed and fabricated a soaring crane out of World Trade Center steel that is now what the Kyodo News calls “the first monument of significance from the international community, to Japan’s disaster stricken northeast region.”
The project was initiated by Mr. Lee Ielpi, co-founder of the 9/11 Tribute Center. A local, yet intercultural team of experts in their field was put together to build the sculpture of the origami crane. They donated their time and talent to enable the 9/11 Tribute Center and 9/11 Families Association to bring this meaningful gift to Japan.
In an international outreach project, a group of 9/11 volunteers, family members, recovery workers, and survivors undertook a ten-day trip to the Northeast of Japan in October 2012. They gave the soaring crane sculpture of World Trade Center steel to the City of Koriyama, located close to the evacuation zone, 34 miles west of Fukushima Daiichi.
The soaring crane was installed on a custom-made granite base and is now the focus of a 3/11 memorial being built in Kaisezan Park in Koriyama City. The idea of the crane monument is based on the legend of the one thousand paper cranes as a wish for peace. The plaque at the memorial reads “The September 11th Families’ Association and the 9/11 Tribute Center extend compassion to the people who lived through the tragic earthquake of March 11, 2011. We wish you strength and courage as you move forward to rebuild your lives and communities.”
Ali Khalfan, president and founder of Eastern Sign Industries, is “honored to be a part of such a great project that will ensure future generations can enjoy the memorial, yet still understand the historical significance."
Eastern Sign Industries, Inc was founded in 2000 by Khalfan. The company has technical expertise in all facets of the commercial architectural signage and environmental graphics industries and specializes in heavy fabrication. Capabilities include waterjet cutting, large format digital printing, chemical etching, finishing, laser engraving, computerized metal shaping, computerized routering, state-of-the-art welding, screen printing, and baked enamel painting.