Halcottsville raises 9-11 tribute

By Brian Sweeney
The hamlet of Halcottsville marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks with the permanent placement of a sculpture made in response to the tragic day.

Sunday’s ceremony included the dedication of a small park along Main Street and the formal unveiling of a bronze sculpture donated by the artist Mark Pilato.

The eight-foot-tall dual columns are entitled “Ascent,” and were completed several years ago as Mark’s tribute to the phenomenal human spirit shown by American citizens following the attacks.
The sculpture has been exhibited at several sites in New York City, including the Ground Zero attack location, St. Paul’s Chapel and St. Peter’s Church. The artwork has also been displayed at the Pentagon in Virginia, at the Schlow Centre Region Library at State College, PA and at the Penn State University Park campus. At some of these sites, some of the victims’ relatives inscribed sentiments on the base.

Speakers at Sunday’s dedication ceremony included Roxbury Supervisor Tom Hynes, Middletown Supervisor Len Utter, Halcottsville Fire Chief Jeff Slauson, the Reverend Richard Dykstra, Bishop Francisco Betancourt, Sharon Reich, sister of September 11 victim Howard Reich, Chace-Randall Gallery owner Zoe Randall and a spokesperson for Mark Pilato.

Mark Pilato is a well-known artist, specializing in sculpting. He and his family lived here when he created “Ascent.” He was an active member of the Halcottsville Fire Department prior to relocating to New Mexico several years ago.