Help find a permanent home for Semper Fi.

The nation’s search and rescue dogs (SAR) answered the call for help on 9/11, working tirelessly to search for survivors, then recovering remains for months in the rubble of the four affected sites. During that time they faced danger and uncertainty as they dug through the ruins guided only by scents. They continue to work today with their handlers to help find and recover people affected by new crises and catastrophes.

Semper Fi is a bronze statue by noted animal sculptor Patsy Davis of Mancos, CO, designed to commemorate the selfless work done by these heroic dogs. This tribute to the bravery of these animals on behalf of humans deserves a home that honors its subjects. Finding One Another (FOA), an organization that supports the SAR and working dog field, seeks to find an appropriate site for the sculpture—ideally at Ground Zero in New York or Liberty State Park in New Jersey.  Liberty State Park directly across from Ground Zero would be an especially apt place for Semper Fi, since some of the working dogs were triaged from there on 9/11 and since it was the site of the 10th Anniversary Recognition Ceremony Honoring All Working Dog Teams–Civilian, Government, Law Enforcement, and Military–Treating Veterinarians and Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMATs).  Another possibility is at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 

The figure of the dog walking on beams akin to the ones in the wreckage of the World Trade Center is poised just at the moment of a “find,” when he alerts his handler to his discovery of a human being.

Sculptor Davis has said that she was moved by the stories she heard of the rescue dogs and the work they did at Ground Zero and later in the Iraq War. The model, a German Shepherd named Luke, seemed to her to exemplify the title of Semper Fi, which translates from Latin as “Always Faithful” and is the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The sculpture, which measures 100” x 75” x 70”, was finished in 2007 after two years of work and was on display at the 9/11 National Working Dog Recognition Ceremony at Liberty State Park on the 10th anniversary of the disaster. Many of the approximately 1,600 search-and-rescue handlers and supporters present were visibly moved by his poignance and beauty and expressed sadness when he was moved from the location following the ceremony.

 

How you can help

This moving sculpture showcases the dangerous jobs done by search and rescue teams, who worked so tirelessly at 9/11 and continue to do so today at each unfolding disaster. They deserve to be memorialized, and Semper Fi is the perfect embodiment of K9 disaster work. Displaying this statue at or near where 9/11 happened will allow people still dealing with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks to remember, to pay respect, honor and recall those who served and those who perished. It will also serve as a historic landmark of that day in our history and our reaction to it.

Semper Fi is a symbol of courage, valor, and hope in one of our country’s darkest hours and will continue to educate and support working dog teams in their ongoing endeavors.

Finding One Another: Courage Beyond Measure™, sponsor of the nationwide 10th Anniversary Recognition Ceremony Honoring All K9 teams, Veterinarians and Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams who served during 9/11, is dedicated to supporting SAR and other working dog teams, raising money to purchase Semper Fi and locate him where thousands of people can remember the service rendered by these professional K9s.

Honor our nation’s search and rescue teams by working to find a permanent site for this important work.

 

About Finding One Another

Finding One Another: Courage Beyond Measure (FOA) is a program of the non-profit organization Tails of Hope Foundation,™ whose mission is to honor canine search and rescue teams for their work at 9/11 and support the needs of the expanded working dog field forward—civilian, law enforcement, government, and military K9s–the individual canines, and their first responder human partners – by contributing to the establishment of standards of practice, care, and research needed to safeguard all those engaged in this work. Funds generated by Finding One Another will provide financial assistance to:

• underwrite veterinary expenses for those SAR K9s in need

• increase the number of specially trained SAR-focused veterinarians

• expand targeted research benefitting working dogs and their human partners through the Penn Vet Working Dog Center

• develop and implement programs to educate the public, both children and adults, to the work and ongoing needs of the SAR community while elevating the human/animal bond and fostering a dialogue toward a more peaceful future.

Click here to donate now.

 

About the Artist

Patsy Davis graduated from the Rhode Island School of design in 1976 at a time when the term “representational art” was considered an oxymoron. In spite of her passion for sculpting animals, she focused primarily on studying form in a more abstract manner, receiving a semester of advanced standing for her body of interpretive work. After graduating, Patsy spent the next 25 years working as a commercial sculptor and developing hundreds of giftware and toy lines, including My Little Pony for Hasbro Toys, as well as product lines for many major companies such as Disney and Warner Bros. In the 1980s Patsy led her company into the INC. 500 as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the country.

Today she brings her years of experience and artistic focus back to fine arts and the animals she loves. Though canines, particularly bird dogs, remain a specialty, the ranch animals and wildlife surrounding her provide inspiration. Sculpting almost 100% from life, her work in bronze reflects many years of discipline and attention to detail. She recently won an award for Best Sculpture in Show at the American Wkkkoman Artist annual juried exhibition in Atlanta. Always a dog lover, Patsy has raised many breeds herself and spends countless hours studying both their anatomy and behavior. She shares her home in the little mountain town of Mancos, Colorado, with three horses, a mule, a dandie dinmont terrier, and a German wirehair pointer.

 

Contact:
Barbara Schwartz, Chair, Semper Fi Statute
845-926-3478  or   desvmd@aol.com

 

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