After September 11th, most of the World Trade Center steel was trucked off to New Jersey salvage yards where it was broken down and sent all over the world for reuse. However, over 1,000 pieces of debris were placed in a JFK airport hangar for the Port Authority to oversee. Recently, the PA announced a program to distribute the steel to anyone who requested it for a 9/11 memorial site. The requirements were the memorial be public and free of admission charge, and the interested party would handle its own steel transportation. With nearly 2,000 applicants, the program has assisted in erecting 225 September 11th memorials throughout the country.
The steel recycling first made headlines in 2009 with the unveiling of the navy battleship USS New York. The ship included over 7 tons of World Trade Center steel and served as one of the first permanent tributes to the victims. Steel has now found homes in local firehouses in Michigan and Minnesota, town halls in New Jersey and Alaska and even the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas. Cities are receiving a variety of pieces from ones that can fit in your hand to bundles of entire beams.
The community of Coatesville, Pennsylvania will receive the largest shipment so far. They have requested 500 tons of steel for its future National Iron and Steel Heritage Museum. The 10 “steel trees” they will be receiving made up the first few floors of the World Trade Center north tower and were actually built in that very town over 50 years ago. The museum will not only be a memorial for September 11th but will also teach the lifecycle and history of steel production in Pennsylvania.
One steel beam was recently sent to Arizona to be incorporated in a memorial for Christina-Taylor Green, the 9 year old girl who was fatally injured in the January shootings. Her birthday was September 11th. The memorial statue titled “The Freedom’s Angel of Steadfast Love” also includes pieces from the Pentagon and US airlines Flight 93.
The most touching piece of World Trade Center debris did not need to be reused to moved at all. Two beams found in rubble that resembled a christian cross have stayed in or near the site for the past 10 years. It will be a highlight and permanent piece of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, opening next month.
Via NY Daily News
Images via Wikimedia Commons