Town Council Not Ready to Endorse 9/11 Monument

The Town Council heard a proposal on creating a 9/11 memorial sign on New York Drive at Tuesday's meeting, but requested more information before agreeing to endorse it.

The Altadena Town Council listened to a very extensive proposal for a 9/11 monument, new park, and more on New York Drive Tuesday night, but decided against endorsing the plan to start with a memorial sign in the area.

The monument is being proposed by John McDannel, who is a retired airline pilot and resident of the Kinneloa Mesa area in the foothills just northeast of the intersection of New York and Altadena Drive.

According to Town Council members, county officials are planning to install a "Welcome to Altadena" sign by a bridge over the Eaton Wash just east of that intersection, and will be installing signs in several other places to better familiarize people with the boundaries of Altadena.

McDannel would like to see the backside of the New York Drive sign to have a dedication as a memorial to the victims of the September 11 attack on New York City.  And he'd like to see it done by 11 a.m. of this upcoming September 11.

McDannel spoke about his experiences on September 11, when he feared his son-in-law, who worked at the World Trade Center, might have died in the attack.  As it turned out, he was fine, but McDannel was unable to get in touch with him at first, and ended up driving from Richmond, Virginia to Manhattan to get news about his daughter and son-in-law.

He spoke about his military service in Vietnam and his daughter's service in the Iraq War.

Several others in the audience, all associated with the Altadena Rotary Club, spoke in favor of the project.

McDannel presented some mock drawing of what the sign could look like, with three proposed designs (they can be viewed to the right of this article).

While not dismissing the project idea out of hand, Town Council members expressed concerns about having a standardized set of signage throughout the town.

Town Council member Diane Marcussen, who is the closest Town Council member to where the sign would be, said that people in her district already have some confusion about whether they live in Pasadena and Altadena.

She said the memorial could present "challenges from an identification standpoint" and said she would want assurances that all the signs would resemble each other before endorsing the 9/11 memorial.

After hearing her concerns, the Town Council agreed to discuss the issue at a future meeting, but all said they would want more information from the county, which would ultimately be responsible for approving installation of the memorial.

In addition to the sign memorial, McDannel spoke of much more ambitious plans about transforming the dam area to the south of Eaton Wash into a park with a lake, and making the theme of the park a memorial to veterans of foreign wars.  He also said he'd like to see more bike lanes and improvements to the road. 

McDannel has long worked in the area to plant trees and improve the area- he was profiled in January in the Pasadena Star News about his volunteer efforts and plans for the area.

mister altadena June 22, 2011 at 07:34 PM
I don't know why THIS sign, at THIS location needs to be a memorial sign. I didn't attend the mtg but I'm not understanding the significance of the words on a sign at this location. Why not a sign at the pocket park next to El Patron instead? There's an existing war monument AND an American flag at the corner of Altadena/Lake. Put a sign there. I understand that it doesn't cost that much more to make a note on one side of the sign. However, this location is a disconnect and seemingly not significant. It the ATC is so moved, choose the El Patron park area.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) June 22, 2011 at 08:04 PM
I believe this is the result of the passion of one man, McDannel, who lives right in the area and wants to see it there. It is less about having a sign somewhere in Altadena and more about this specific location for him and his supporters. Also, part of the motivation for putting it there is that the September 11 attacks happened in New York and the sign would be on New York Drive.
mister altadena June 22, 2011 at 08:31 PM
9/11 attacks also took place in Wash.DC & in Pennsylvania. Any chance of a sign somewhere in/near Washington St? I'm not diminishing the attacks or the propronent's personal attachment & experiences. It's innocuous enough to note it on a New York Dr. sign but not consistent w/ other signs that may be placed around the borders. I still think a more appropriate place for a 9/11 tribute/memorial would be at the existing war memorial on Altadena/Lake.
Steve Lamb August 26, 2011 at 01:52 PM
Gee this must be a profoundly bad idea because Mister (so called and self appointed) Altadena and I agree
mister altadena August 26, 2011 at 02:34 PM
common ground at last!
Steve Lamb August 26, 2011 at 06:25 PM
And... I know this is a almost rude question, but were ALTADENANS killed there? We don't yet have a memorial to Altadenans killed in Viet Nam, in Gulf War 1, Gulf 2 or Afghanistan......Just saying.....
mister altadena August 26, 2011 at 06:34 PM
At the end of the day, I don't what is expected of the ATC on this? Kinneloa Mesa is part of Pasadena's sphere of influence, right? If so, put the memorial east of whatever "Welcome to Altadena" sign is planned. Make it Pasadena's issue. Then, Altadena can bow out, we can put a memorial notice at the flag @ Lake/Altadena Dr. if we choose.
Steve Lamb August 26, 2011 at 06:54 PM
Actually, the residents of Kinneloa Mesa has over the years, even when we as a community have helped them sandbag homes for flood, be very very clear that they were NOT a part of Altadena. I see no reason since they are so clear on that to be involved at all with one of their projects. Dang MA and I are agreeing again!!! We also agree that the flag pole at Lake and Altadena are the logical place to put a memorial if any.


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