2011-09-09 / Community

Americana Stars Come To RAA

The stars for the NYPD, FDNY and Port Authority Police Department. The stars for the NYPD, FDNY and Port Authority Police Department. By Daniel Solomon

Like many New Yorkers, Doreen Lynn Saunders was moved by the events of 9/11 and wanted to do something about it, something big. In 2002, the Rego Park artist set out to construct a work commemorating the more than 3,000 victims of the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. That effort developed into “The Americana Stars Memorial,” a piece that will include cross-stitched, eight-pointed LeMoyne stars for every person who perished as well as specially-designed ones for the NYPD, FDNY, and Port Authority Police. The stars, each of which will be different in its color pattern to emphasize the uniqueness of the people who died, will be sewed onto a blue background decorated with quotes from quintessential American documents and figures such as The Declaration of Independence and Eleanor Roosevelt. The memorial will stretch over 50 panels that together will extend past 200 feet. It’s a huge undertaking and thanks to her hard work and the help she’s had along the way, Saunders is on track to be done with it by 2014.

So, while she might not be unveiling her masterpiece this Sunday, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, she will be coming to the Rockaway Artists Alliance’s sTudio 7 in Fort Tilden to give a presentation on it as part of the opening weekend of RAA’s ARTSPLASH arts celebration.

The event, scheduled for 1 p.m., will feature already-completed stars and a discussion about the project. She’ll talk about the inspiration behind it: “An Americana Flag,” which she crossstitched after the planes hit and which the National American History Museum, part of The Smithsonian, requested for display in its Star-Spangled Banner exhibit.

Saunders will also touch on the future of her endeavor and invite attendees to help out by sponsoring a star for a loved one or a friend who was lost in the Towers. “I’m honored to come to RAA this weekend on such on an important date,” Saunders said in an interview with The Wave on Wednesday. “I look forward to seeing a lot of people in the crowd on Sunday and sharing with them what I’ve been up to for almost nine years.”

Everyone should show up, but whether you make it or not, be sure to visit her Web site, AmericanaStars.org, to find out more information about the memorial and see what you can do.

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