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Queens Chronicle

Monument In Middle Village Pays Tribute To 9-11 Victims

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Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2004 12:00 am

The impact of 9-11 continues to have a far reaching effect across this country. In countless small towns and big cities people try to preserve the memory of those who lost their lives for both personal and historical reasons.

One such monument is located in All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village only a few yards from the main office gate on Metropolitan Avenue.

The large granite rock holding the sacred inscription of remembrance is the recently created work of Stanley Barany. Born in Hungary, Barany fled during the revolution and escaped to this country in 1956.

At the age of 13 and without knowing a single word of English, he managed to attend school, help his family and quickly learn the language. “If you’re a foreigner, this is the country to be in. America treats you great,” Barany said.

A child gymnast while in Hungary, he said that before coming to this country, he never had a pair of shoes, an indoor bathroom or electricity.

Growing up near a stone yard, he took a part-time job for 25 cents an hour washing stones and any other tasks which would allow him to learn.

He mastered sanding techniques during his time as a construction worker. And after a brief period working for his brother sandblasting monuments on Long Island, he worked for Lerman Monuments on Maurice Avenue. “I was doing everything there and that’s where I really learned the trade.”

Barany later took a job with Sprung Monuments and after two years he decided it was time to start out on his own. “I wanted to experience America being self-employed.”

The stonecutter has engraved such works as the tablets at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Cardinal John O’Connor and Cardinal Terence Cooke as well as the lettering outside the American Museum of Natural History on 81st Street in Manhattan.

“When 9-11 happened, I remember Budapest burning for six months. I didn’t want to see that happen here,” said the father of four sons and one daughter.

He was grateful to Dan Austin, president and CEO of All Faiths Cemetery, for giving him the opportunity to create the monument.

The large rock used in the monument was taken from the grounds of the cemetery, which Barany said made it seem even more appropriate.

“The stone that we cut had a lot of flaws,” he said, pointing out that flaws were small cracks and that the deeper a rock is quarried the less amount of flaws or cracks are present. “The best granite comes from the deepest quarry.”

Not only did Barany cut and shape the lettering into the face of the rock, but he designed the style of the lettering as well.

After applying a rubber-based glue, a sheet of stencil, made from a combination of rubber and fine glass, is placed on the rock.

Barany used 100-pound bags of silica sand.

The powerful jet-spray of sand, blasting at 120 pounds per square inch, only cuts where there’s an open area in the stencil; in this case the lettering. “You blast with different sized nozzles to get the depth that you want.”

“Always wear a hood to protect yourself,” he said. Barany also wears protective goggles and a respirator, which shields him from the fine dust particles.

After the sand blasting phase was completed, Barany removed the glue and finished off the design using a hammer and chisel. “That’s why the art of stonecutting is getting lost. Everything is cut with machines.”

He said he finishes up the inside of the lettering using litherchrome, which is a liquid that soaks into the lettering part of the stone for protection and contrast.

The inscription on the stone reads, “Forever dedicated to those who perished on September 11, 2001 both victims and heroes. “We will never forget this great loss.”

Barany said that what happened on 9-11 was not a formal war but rather murder and that people should always be alert. “When people see my stone, they should think about doing everything in their power so that this can never happen again

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