About Us

John Jackson, founder, is a welder in Lacey, WA, who has started The Spirit of America Foundation with a group of people. He hopes the memorial will bring comfort to the countless people who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A welder for more than 20 years, Jackson owns and operates Jackson’s Field Welding Services LLC, a steel erection company in Lacey, Wash. With the help of friends and professional contacts, Jackson has founded The Spirit of America Foundation, a nonprofit corporation devoted to establishing, promoting, and developing works that commemorate the efforts made by American men and women to support their fellow citizens in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and advancing works that sustain Americans’ spirit. For Jackson, this project has been many years in the making—the terrorist attacks simply brought it to light. On Jan. 16, 1997, Jackson’s 36-year-old cousin, John Ferry, drowned in a commercial fishing boat accident in the Pacific Ocean. Jackson said Ferry was the closest he had to a brother. Ferry was on the ship with three other crew members, all of whom perished when the ship sank. Ferry’s body was one of three that never were recovered. Inspired by love for his cousin, Jackson, with Ferry’s brother, Steve, made a sculpture honoring the men who died that day. The sculpture, a stainless steel tube cross fastened to a half-inch-thick plate anchor, took months to polish until it shined like a mirror, Jackson said. Engraved on the sculpture are the names of the four crew members, along with an inscription: “Dearly missed, never forgotten.” They took it out to sea on Memorial Day that year to the exact coordinates where the boat sank and dropped it 7,800 feet to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Now Jackson hopes the same kind of idea will help heal all who have been touched by the attacks.  –Excerpt by Stephanie Vaughan.

Dave Lewis, Executive Director: Dave and his wife Gail currently reside in a Hunters, Wa.  Dave is retired from the US Army.  He served 21 years in the Infantry.  After retiring from active duty Dave spent 4 years in Washington DC working for a defense contractor.  He moved to Washington State in 1991 and was employed by Pierce County Security as one of two Operation Managers.  He retired from PCS in 2010.  He met John Jackson at the Puyallup fair in September of 2012.  Dave and John immediately became good friends.  With a mutual respect and admiration for each other and love of our country with the vow to “NEVER FORGET 9/11″ instilled in both men, John asked Dave to be a board member.  Dave accepted.  John always had a desire to have the memorial tour Eastern Washington.  That became a reality for John in June, 2013.  The memorial has a full slate of cities in eastern Washington for the remainder of this year and Dave is already planning the tour for next spring.  Dave became Executive Director/President on June 1st 2013.

Morgan Lindbergh, board member, is the grandson of aviator Charles Lindbergh and is proud to be involved.

Dr. Norm Harris, board member, is a recently retired dentist from USA Dentac,Joint Base Lewis/McChord. He is Dave Lewis’ brother-in-law. Dr. Harris had a private practice of general dentistry for fifteen years before moving to WA. State in 1988. He worked for the last twenty five years as a civilian dental officer at what is now McChord Field. He was born and raised in New York City and lived there all his life until graduating from The City College of New York. He was very familiar with the area of the Twin Towers. Dr. Harris and Ruth have shown a great deal of interest in the memorial. The King 5 news story was filmed in their living room at their home in Spanaway,WA.
Capt Ed Dutra, board member, is a retired American airlines pilot. He was an active pilot when the attacks occurred.  He flew into LaGuardia the day before the attacks.  He brings a vast amount of knowledge about those days, weeks and months following 9/11.  When Ed tours with the memorial, he wears his pilot uniform which draws the crowds to him. He and his wife Loretta live in Hunters, WA.
Dan Walsh, board member, after a 40 year career in land surveying and right of way acquisition for a utility company in Spokane, WA, now lives near Fort Spokane, on Lake Roosevelt with his wife, Joyce.  In November, 2001, Dan visited New York City to participate in the NYC marathon.  After having watched live coverage, with millions of other Americans, of the second plane impacting the tower and of the other horrors that took placeon 9/11, Dan felt compelled, those two months later, to visit the site where the twin towers once stood so majestically. Like thousands of other marathon visitors to NYC that week, Dan sought to pay silent tribute to those who perished that day and to those who courageously threw themselves into rescue and recovery efforts.  Though the immediate area was closed to the public, the atmosphere in the surrounding neighborhoods, the sadness mixed with resolve, determination, unity and pride in America, made a lasting impression on Dan as he observed the cleanup efforts from afar.  Now, years later, he is grateful for the opportunity to be part of an effort to honor the victims, survivors and responders of 9/11/2001.
Jim Demetro, Sculptor:  After winning many awards for his paintings as an amateur, in 1992, Jim left his engineering career to pursue his dream as a full time, fine arts sculptor. He has been known for his attention to realistic detail in his limited-edition bronze sculptures ever since. The themes of his pieces range from children, dancers, Native Americans to historical figures. Many of his sculptures incorporate water or fire to enhance the piece. He has fifty public life-size sculpture installations nationally and internationally. Some of his works are featured in public collections at the following places: the seaside Malecon of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; St. Louis University; Metroplex Telephone Company; Heathman Lodge; Harmony Park; and Na’ Aina Kai Botanical Gardens, Hawaii. Private collectors include singer Connie Stevens, former Nike president Phil Knight and actors Tom Cruise and Donald Sutherland. Recently, he completed “Los Amantes” or “The Lovers” of life-size bronzes of Richard Burton drawing Elizabeth Taylor close for a kiss, a timely piece that commemorates the iconic actors. He also finished “Vamanos Burro” for the city of Puerto Vallarta. Ten years ago (and joined by his wife Eva and daughter Christina), Jim secured artifacts at the Pentagon and former World Trade Center Twin Towers on behalf of the Spirit of America foundation. He and his daughter finished creating the memorial in time for the ten year anniversary on 9/11/11. He considers this memorial to be one of his most significant contributions.

Christina Demetro, co-sculptor:  Since 1992, Christina has teamed up with her father Jim to help sculpt many of his life-size and monumental sculptures, including: Capt George Vancouver, A Gift for You, and the Spiraling Salmon for the city of Vancouver; the Journey of Hope for Innovative Services NW (honoring people with disabilities); the Vallarta Dancers for Puerto Vallarta; and the Lewis and Clark statues and interpretive signs for the Lewis and Clark Plaza. She was honored to join her father at the Pentagon and former Twin Towers rubble site to select artifacts for the memorial–and then assist him with sculpting the bronze memorial in time for the ten year anniversary. With a bachelors of science degree and a holistic health practitioner’s certification, Christina has enjoyed being an environmental educator, neuromuscular massage therapist and author, as well as a sculptor of her own limited-edition bronze sculptures. She is currently creating a bronze, co-commissioned Whale Song sculpture for the City of Anchorage.

More: For more information, please contact our Executive Director Dave Lewis at dgldouble@gmail.com or the Spirit of America Foundation, 4664 Dahl Lewis Way, Hunters, WA 99137. Thank you for your support!