Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 1:40 AM
By Phil Dunn / Today's Sunbeam
Source: Today's Sunbeam
MANNINGTON TWP. — On Saturday, Salem County residents will have a chance to get a firsthand look at a piece of World Trade Center steel from the 9/11 attacks.
Officials from the Salem County Fire Academy will be putting on a countywide tour to display the 9,000-pound steel artifact.
“We want to reach as many county residents as possible, so they can see this important piece of history,” said Salem County Fire Academy Director Leroy Pierce.
A piece of steel from the World Trade Center in New York City was delivered to the Salem County Fire Academy on Tuesday. The steel will be taken to various Salem County locations on Saturday.
The tour will stop in multiple locations around the county such as the Salem Community College at 12:15 p.m., Logan Volunteer Fire Co. at 12:45 p.m., Reliance Fire Co. at 1:10 p.m., Pittsgrove’s Green Branch Park at 2:05 p.m., Alloway Township Municipal Building at 2:50 p.m., Salem City’s Market Street Day at 3:20 p.m., and then the Riverview Inn in Pennsville at 4 p.m.
Pierce said it’s important for the community to gather and reflect on the tragedy that was Sept. 11.
“It allows the citizens to regain a sense of unity and pride,” said Pierce. “It also heightens awareness and vigilance. In many cases folks have become complacent again.”
The Salem County Fire Academy came to obtain the steel through an application process and has been waiting for nearly a year now to officially receive the 22-foot piece of World Trade Center steel.
The rusted piece of metal, weighing approximately 9,700 pounds, was transported by R.E. Pierson Construction Co. on Tuesday from JFK Airport Hanger 17 in New York City. Jim Mailley & Dan Mailley from RE Pierson Construction are the two employees that transported it.
Elsinboro resident Stacy Pennington came out to the Salem County Fire Academy building on Tuesday to view the World Trade Center steel delivery. She said she was impressed with the procession of motorcycles leading the way to bring the steel to Salem County.
“I always go to the 9/11 ceremonies,” said Pennington. “We need to show our support whenever we can for our firefighters and emergency personnel.”
The groups of motorcycle riders included: The Red Knights, Warrior Watch, Patriot Guard, First Responders, and Last Patrol.
New Jersey State Police, the Salem County Sheriff’s Office, and the Woodstown and Woolwich police departments also assisted in the transportation of the steel.
After being displayed this weekend and at the 9/11 ceremony, Pierce said the steel will ultimately become the anchor of a Memorial Park 9/11 monument. He said the monument will be placed near the fire academy.
“I’ve been working in the background trying to bring this monument to Salem County and with the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaching it re-energized me to get this project completed,” said Pierce.
Pierce said the plan is to cut the steel into two with each 11-foot piece acting as the shadows of the twin towers.
He said he hopes to get students from the vocational school involved in the construction effort, as well as some local Boy Scouts.
“We hope to have it completed by Sept. 11, 2012,” said Pierce. “It is only right that we remember the 3,000 people who died in the 9/11 attacks. We have to keep that memory alive even though it was a horrific day in history.”