"My religious art tells stories - the gospel is a story. I enjoy the intersection of the ordinary and translucent. Everyone has the feeling that there's something more important going on behind their everyday ordinary experiences. It's the intersection of the two that gives meaning to our lives."
- John Collier, Dallas, TX
Patron Saint of Firefighters honors the NYFD firefighters and EMS workers who ran fearlessly into peril saving hundreds of lives while losing their own, those who took part in the grueling recovery effort, and those who risk their lives everyday that we might live in safety. Florian is depicted climbing a ladder, evoking memories of the firefighters who climbed the stairwells of the Towers to reach endangered workers. The ladder appears to be breaking apart under his weight. Indeed, all his quipment seems to be failing him, but still he still struggles to go up, to save those he has sworn to rescue.
The Archangel, Patron Saint of Police Officers honors the officers - NY City Police and Port Authority Police - who gave their lives attempting rescue, those who engaged in the physically and emotionally exhausting work of recovery, and those who continue to protect us each day. The artist originally intended the head of the serpent/Satan to be the head of St. Michael, but it was deformed in the casting process. He decided instead to use it as the head of Satan, drawing upon the theme found in Christian tradition that the devil is a misshapen or fallen angel. We are thus reminded of the ever-present possibility of our fall from grace. We also remember that as we confront the forces of evil, we must always strive to fight on the side of the angels, never resorting under the threat of expediency to the tactics of our enemies.
Patron Saint of Workers, foster-father of Jesus and spouse of the Virgin Mary, honors all those workers who left their homes on a beautiful late summer morning just to go to work at the World Trade Center to provide for their families. He evokes all the men who died that day: grandfathers, fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, uncles and nephews. St. Joseph is an apt patron for all workers, whether they work with their hands or their heads, because a carpenter is one whose work must have an integrity and honestry about it. All the measurements must be true, all the angles right, or the object that is being constructed will simply fall apart. On the back of Joseph the foundry workers who cast these bronze statues have inscribed their names, witnessing their satisfaction and pride to having had a role in this project, and representing all those who were involved but not listed.
First Witness to the Resurrection and "Apostle to the Apostles" honors those who perished in the American Airlines and United Airlines jets that crashed into Towers One and Two: the passengers and the pilots and flight attendants who served them, and those who came from all parts of the country to serve at Ground Zero in whatever way they could. She also honors those who come to the site to mourn their beloved dead; especially those who do not even have the small comfort of having had their loved ones' remains returned to them. She evokes all the women who died that day: grandmothers, mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces. She is depicted hurrying to Jesus' tomb on Easter morning, carrying jars of spices, to anoint His body, jars that will remain unopened because they will not have to be used - for He is risen.