Residents of the Breezy Point neighborhood in Queens donated to the U.S. military a steel I-beam that was once part of the World Trade Center. The beam, which is nine-feet long and two-feet wide, weighs more than 950 pounds. It was donated to the Army through an organization called Sons and Daughters of America, Breezy Point, according to a military report.
When the beam arrived at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, troops on March 31 flew a CH-47 Chinook helicopter with the beam hanging in a cargo net, according to the report written by U.S. Army Sgt. Spencer Case of the 304th Public Affairs Detachment. An American flag was flown with the beam. Another flag was also displayed from the back hatch of the helicopter. That flag is to be given to the residents of Breezy Point as a token of appreciation. The report says New York officials have given a number of beams to the Breezy Point community after many residents of the small Queens neighborhood died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Separately, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - the agency that owns the 16-acre site known as Ground Zero - is seeking proposals from public and city agencies and not-for-profit groups interested in acquiring a piece of 9/11 World Trade Center steel for public display. Tons and tons of steel from the WTC disaster is being stored at a JFK airport hangar. Some of the steel and other artifacts are being preserved for future use in the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
Update: Jan Ramirez, the 9/11 Memorial Museum's chief curator and director of collections, had her team reach out to the military's media operations, which sent digital copies of photos taken of the arrival and flight preparation of the I-beam in Afghanistan. The pictures may be used in an exhibition at the future 9/11 Memorial Museum.
By Michael Frazier, Sr. Communications Manager for the 9/11 Memorial