Jim Faba had a vision for the remanufactured steel beams that came from the World Trade Center after the September 2001 attacks in New York City.
His close family friend Rusty Flack was suffering from cancer and Faba wanted the cross he constructed from the beams to serve as a point of strength for Flack when times were tough.
Flack, of Dallas, passed away in May 2011 at age 56. But the cross Faba made for him will now serve as a point of strength for others seeking relief when it is placed in the Rusty Flack Memorial Garden at the Grace Episcopal Church in Kingston.
"I didn't want (the cross) to be a point of interest for the community," Faba said. "I only wanted to give (Rusty) the strength he needed to get through a difficult time."
Flack, a local businessman known for his involvement in the community throughout his life, was able to see the cross every day from his porch. Now others will look upon the same cross from the garden alongside the Kingston church, where construction will begin this month.
"You'll be able to see (the cross) from the road," said the Rev. John Hartman of Grace Episcopal Church. "And the cross is covered in rust … how appropriate that his name is Rusty."
He said the cross, which he saw while visiting the Flack family, will be placed in the garden, which is expected to be complete around Nov. 4 for the All Saints Day observance.
Hartman, who noted the Flack family has been parishioners of his church for about 20 years, said the garden will be a burial place for cremated ashes of parishioners in the front part of the garden and pets and animal companions to the rear.
The garden will include several benches for meditation and prayer, trees, a stone walkway and iron fencing around the entire garden.
Donations made to the Rusty Flack Memorial Garden after his death, amounting to about $25,000, will fund the garden, Hartman said, though another $5,000 will likely be required to complete the garden.
Faba said that after the attacks on the World Trade Center, debris was sifted to remove personal effects. Any other reusable construction material was sent to be remanufactured. Most of the remanufactured steel was used in the construction of the Freedom Tower at ground zero.
Faba, who works in the scrap and recycling business, came upon the remelted beams and fashioned the cross for Flack.
"Now, it'll be a spiritual center for the church," Faba said. "The 9/11 steel lives on. Rusty was generous to everything in our area and this was a small part that I could give back."