Section of Steel Beam From World Trade Center Coming to Oconee Veterans Park
A World Trade Center artifact is scheduled to arrive at Oconee Veterans Park on Tuesday, Aug. 2 shortly after 12 p.m.
Oconee Veterans Park will soon be home to a remnant of the World Trade Center.
A 52”x18”x18", 923-pound section of steel beam from the twin towers’ superstructure will arrive on Tuesday, Aug. 2 just after 12 p.m. when a brief ceremony will take place, Sgt. 1st Class Roy Henry of the Georgia Department of Defense Public Affairs Office confirmed on Monday.
Lieutenant Col. John Gentry, commander of Savannah’s 118th Field Artillery and director of the Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department, said deputy director Tom Popps came across an application to petition for the artifact in September of 2009. In April 2011, the county learned the request had been approved, and then came the challenge of transporting the beam, Gentry said.
The New York and Georgia Army National Guards and FedEx are assisting in the movement of the beam as it travels from the World Trade Center Storage Facility at JFK airport in New York, he said.
Soldiers and equipment from Winder’s Company E, 148th Brigade Support Battalion, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will use a truck to pick up the beam from a FedEx dock in Athens at 12 p.m. on Tuesday and Oconee County Sheriff’s deputies and Emergency Management Agency personnel will then escort the beam to the park. It should arrive no later than 1 p.m., Gentry said.
"We've got a rolling cart to get it into the lobby (of the Community Center) for all citizens to view," he said.
At 4 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2011, the beam will become a permanent addition to the park during a remembrance ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Gentry said.
"We haven't decided exactly where it will be placed," he noted.
Gentry, who has been deployed three times since Sept. 11, 2001, said he is excited about it for both personal and professional reasons.
"It has a special place for me in my heart," he said.
To see photos of the beam leaving New York, click here.