A two-foot piece of mangled steel from the World Trade Center has found its final resting place at the Egg Harbor City, N.J.’s municipal building.
Commander Tom Messina of the American Legion Rudolph Elmer Post 158 and Egg Harbor City’s Mayor Lisa Jiampetti requested the relic from the World Trade Center Steel Program. The remnant of twisted metal was one of close to 2,000 pieces of varying sizes of artifacts that were carefully preserved in a joint effort by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Their quest took almost two years.
Housed in Hangar 17 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, the pieces ranged from smaller samples such as the one displayed in Egg Harbor City to relics that weigh tons. The 80,000-square-foot hangar, not accessible by the public, is temperature controlled so that humidity doesn’t cause the steel to rust. Each piece was cataloged and requests were carefully considered - from local fire departments, municipalities to international inquiries.
Reportedly, the hangar housed only “one five-hundredth of the "total debris field.”
Tons of the steel from the fallen towers had been efficiently removed and recycled.
“We’re just so proud to have this small piece of history here in Egg Harbor City to commemorate that fateful day,” explains Mayor Lisa Jiampetti. Commander Messina concurred, stating, “It is a token to remember what happened.”
Egg Harbor City, a municipality of approximately 4,300 residents, is a short distance from the 177th Fighter Wing. There, the NJ Air National Guard is on alert, 24/7. A minimum of two F16C Fighting Falcons are sheltered at their sophisticated Air Defense facility, fueled and armed, prepared to deploy in moments to intercept any air emergencies or threats.
Thirteen years after the terrorist attacks that changed the world, The American Legion Rudolph Elmer Post was finally able to acknowledge the lives that were lost with a tangible reminder of that life-changing and horrific day. At the commemoration ceremony of their World Trade Center monument the city’s mayor announced, “Even though we may want to forget, we must never forget.”
The National September 11 Memorial and Museum has 200 of the most familiar relics on display to the general public.
Not as visible is the steel salvaged from the World Trade Center wreckage that was, according to a US Navy Fact Sheet, ‘incorporated into the bow stern of the USS New York.” Commissioned in New York City in 2009, the amphibious transport dock ship (LPD-21), forged with 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center in her bow, paid her respects to the lives that were lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
On Nov. 2, 2009, the USS New York reportedly, "came to a standstill across from the World Trade Center site, dipped her flag, and delivered a 21-gun salute.” Returning the salute was a respectful group that had gathered on the shore at the North Cove in the World Financial Center. The general public joined members of the Fire Department of New York, the New York Police Department, Port Authority Police, veterans and members of the families of 9/11 victims.
We will never forget.