Steeled for eternal memories

This steel was part of the stantions at one of the World Trade Towers. It weighs 16,500 pounds and was being moved to the 9-11 Memorial Service area at the ballfield at JFK. Unfortunately due to weather, the memorial was held at the A&R space at Building 14 so guests could not honor the dead, including the precious piece.
Photo by Jeff Yapalater

JFK Airport is in possession of the last remaining piece of steel from the 9-11 World Trade Center.

This is one of the last two pieces to be placed in memorial as well as one other at Newark Airport. Building 17 at JFK housed the many pieces that were saved, cleaned and made available for donation by request.

This piece was the base of one of the columns of the towers helping support the building. Unfortunately it is not clear exactly which tower, but it bears the scars of fire, explosion and destruction of that fateful day.

This is the last know piece of the towers and it is cherished by the Chamber of Commerce and will be used as the centerpiece of a memorial that is planned.

If had remained in obscure storage until just recently when it was given to the JFK Chamber of Commerce as part of an evolving creation of a 9-11 Memorial at the airport.

It weighs over 16,000 pounds and takes a crane to move it.

According to Chamber of Commerce President Joe Clabby, “People have not been forgotten 17 years later. Some of the feelings are still raw. We Want people to understand what happened many years ago.

“Important to have something from 9-11 that has impact-something that we can see, feel and touch a place where people come and bend a knee and pray.”

Hundreds of pieces of steel from the destroyed World Trade Towers were eventually collected and housed at the Port Authority’s JFK Airport following 9-11, The pieces which ranged up to hundred of thousand pounds, were available to agencies that lost first responders in that tragedy through a program that ran until mid-2016.

In August 2016, Port Authority announced the successful conclusion of its 9-11 World Trade Center artifacts giveaway program, following the distribution of more than 2,600 pieces of steel and other items to communities in all 50 states and 10 foreign nations during the past six years.

The popular program distributed more than 1,890 pieces of steel of varying sizes to communities around the country for use in the creation of permanent memorials to the nearly 3,000 people who were lost on 9-11.

Many of the items recovered also are permanently housed in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at the new World Trade Center site and in state museums in New York and New Jersey.

In addition, artifacts were distributed to military bases and other locations in nine foreign countries.

There is another smaller piece resting in a garden by the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting unit (ARFF) at building 254 off Rockaway Boulevard next to the fire fighting training area.

In order to keep the memory of those perished, former General Manager of JFK Mike Moran and the JFK Chamber of Commerce established and held the first 9-11 service in September of 2017 at the airport ball field. Widely attended and supported by the JFK Airport and surrounding communities, The Chamber has established a memorial fund where donations can be made to build this remembrance garden.

The major contributor to date is the Columbia Association which through Phil Maddalena represents the U.S. Customs Border Protection by donating $53,000.

Of this effort. Maddalena said he had looked for years to be able to donate this money but was not until recently that he heard about the Chamber’s plan to erect a monument,

“I was thrilled” to be able to make this happen,” he said.

The JFK steel was to have been the center of the 2018 9-11 Memorial Service recently but due to weather it could not be moved at the last minute, due to its weight and size, to the indoor location of the ceremony.

At this time, the remaining piece rests at JFK and is awaiting it place in the 9-11 Memorial Garden at the airport.

If you wish to donate to the planned JFK 9-11 Memorial fund please go to www.jfkairportchamberofcommerce.org.

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