9/11 Memorial President and CEO Joe Daniels directs planning, construction, development and operations for the 9/11 Memorial. Through his work, he is honored to meet many of the families, colleagues and friends, of the nearly 3,000 9/11 victims. Daniels will share his personal experiences at the memorial, and much more, in the “Thank You for Visiting” series on the MEMO blog.
In 2011, 9/11 Memorial board member Daniel R. Tishman commissioned Paul Jr. and his team at Paul Jr. Designs to build two motorcycles commemorating the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. One of these bikes was donated to the memorial and placed on display in the 9/11 Memorial Visitor Center at 90 West St. In the wake of Sandy, the visitor center and the tribute bike were damaged. I remember coming to the site to assess the destruction Sandy had inflicted. Retail items were scattered across the floor and the water damage was severe, but we were fortunate. Donated artifacts that had been on display were saved by the memorial’s curatorial team.
Paul Jr. and his team called us to ask to repair the bike soon after the horrific storm that continues to affect the lives on New Yorkers.
With the assistance of the memorial’s engineers and security staff, the bike was removed and hauled back to Paul Jr.’s shop to undo the damage. Featured on an episode of “American Choppers” that aired last month, they determined that exposure to salt water had rusted the bike’s frame and corroded the battery. But Paul Jr. Designs knew how important it was to restore and return the tribute chopper, which has been seen by millions of visitors since its unveiling last year.
On Nov. 26, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Dan Tishman, and I welcomed the return of the bike to its home at the visitor center. The bike was reinstalled and placed in the window, where it had previously sat for visitors to admire. Like all things at this site, the bike was rebuilt and returned as a strong as ever before.
During this holiday season, our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are still recovering from Sandy’s devastation. We recognize those who continue to help with relief efforts and we remember that it is our collective nature, as a city, to come together and rebuild.
Thank you for visiting,
By Joe Daniels, 9/11 Memorial President and CEO