World Trade Center Steel From NYC Arrives In Shanksville

WJACTV Johnstown (PA) reports:

9/11 family member of a fallen FDNY firefighter signs the base of a cross fashioned from the World Trade Center steel and that will be dedicated outside of the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Company this morning at 10 a.m.

Shanksville, PA — Firefighters said it was one of the largest fire companies in the country meeting one of the smallest Saturday night, when 1,000 motorcycles from New York City rolled into the Alleghenies with a steel beam from the World Trade Center in tow.

New York firefighters made the 311-mile trek to Shanksville by bike to give the 2-ton 14-foot long beam to the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Company… Read the rest or view the video by clicking here.

At 7:00 a.m. yesterday morning, the Fire Family Transport Foundation launched from Floyd Bennett Field on Long Island to escort a cross of steel from the destroyed World Trade Center to the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Company. The foundation provides medical transport to firefighters, family members, and wounded warriors.

NEW YORK – The roar of 1,000 motorcycles accompanied a steel beam from the World Trade Center yesterday as it traveled to Pennsylvania, where it will be part of a memorial in the town where an airliner crashed during the Sept. 11 attacks.

Hundreds of current and retired FDNY firefighters left Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field at about 7 a.m. to escort the girder on the 311-mile ride to Shanksville, Pa., where Flight 93 crashed.

They rolled down I-287 through New Jersey and I-78 in Pennsylvania; at every overpass, folks came out to greet them and show our true colors.

American flags flew while firefighters and rescue workers from companies across Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon counties saluted from the overpasses as the 9/11 monument and its thousand-motorcycle escort passed below on its way from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn to its final resting place near the Pennsylvania crash site of United Flight 93.

The bridge over Interstate 78 at Rupell Road in Union Township was filled yesterday morning with fire and rescue personnel from Quakertown, Milford and West Amwell, standing atop and beside their vehicles with American flags, joining regular folks in anticipation of the Iron & Steel New York City to Shanksville, Pa., motorcade.

The double line of hundreds of motorcycles and emergency vehicles with lights flashing, sirens wailing and horns honking appeared on the horizon, roaring west to escort the memorial cross fashioned out of steel from the World Trade Center’s North Tower to its new home.

“It was an immense amount of pride to be part of this,” said Quakertown Fire Company Chief Bradley Patkochis. “A lot of these guys you couldn’t keep off this bridge to be part of this today.”

John Hager woke up at 4 o’clock this morning to drive to New York City and participate in the Iron and Steel motorcycle run.

But the Palmer Township [Pennsylvania] resident said the early hours and long drive were worth it every time he and his fellow bikers passed the waving flags and cheering spectators.

“Every single bridge we passed, there were fire trucks and flags,” said Hager, 48. “Every overpass from Brooklyn to here. It sends shivers down your spine.”

While hundreds of motorcyles and Engine 343 took up station in Somerset for the night…

… a busload of New York firefighters and friends followed the cross to Shanksville to help their Brothers there set it in place.

We will stand again this morning with Iron and Steel in Shanksville and remember.

Update, 3:43 PM Eastern, August 25: Our thanks to Andy McCarthy at the NRO for the link over.

  13 comments for “World Trade Center Steel From NYC Arrives In Shanksville

  1. Ken & Marilyn Maas
    August 25, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    We had the honor of joining this run just before Bloombury NJ. I only wish I had known earlier as many friends would have gladly joined to show support. The showing of Fire, Police and E.M.S along the way was nothing short of spectacular. At one point My wife stood in line to sign the base of the cross. When the time came rather than mark our names we chose to place the name of our local fire company “Pattenburg Volunteer Fire Company #25”. The very least we could do for the men and women who locally serve us. It was excellent and I was very proud to see our company atop Rt78 overpass with our truck waving flags in show of support. thumbs up.

    Ken Maas
    Skylands BMW Riders

    Just a note… about the ride that Ken and I were part of over this weekend. Over 1,000 motorcycles provided a motorcade for the remnant steel cross from the World Trade Center which was being transported out to the Firehouse in Pa. which responded on 9/11 to the Flight 93 crashsite in Shanksville, Pa. It was unbelievable to see the amount of people that lined the highways, Fire Engines and Emergency vehicles were on almost every overpass crossing the highways from New Jersey all the way out to Shanksville, Pa. Everyone waved flags, gave the thumbs up as the motorcade passed by. The Iron Cross which was on a long flatbed, drew many to tears and prayer as it passed by. You could feel the unity and certainly the love of country, and how that day has touched us all in different ways. Upon riding through the Allegheny Mountains, I looked out to see fields surrounded by mountains, with wildflowers growing, when suddenly I caught a glimpse of a horse and rider galloping through the high grass waving a flag to make sure we spotted them. It was truly amazing and touching beyond words. We reached the crash site and viewed the memorial that stands. Hand written notes, pieces of jewelry, many, many, crosses and heartfelt words.

    Benches were in places with the name of each passenger on that Flight that fateful day. I chose to sit on the bench which had the name of Elizabeth Waineo; a friend and coworker of my daughter Melissa who was lost that day. The ride was inspiring. The cross will remain standing as a gift for the firehouse, in
    Shanksville, Pa.

    Love, Marilyn.

  2. August 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks, Mike Burke, for that eloquent and moving essay. I wish I could have been on that road – but I’m on the other side of the country.

    I’ll be sure to let anyone who talks about the WTC memorial know what it’s really about.

    Any of us who have children must tell them what happened there. That’s how our way of life gets handed down to the next generation. The schools certainly aren’t going to do it.

  3. georgia
    August 25, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I made this ride and I will never forget the firefighters that we rode with and more than that , the firefighters, familys, police and resuce personnel, as well as, all the local townspeople that were on every overpass from Brookyln, to Staten Isalnd, to the entire state of New Jersey and finally all the way across the great state of PA! I ride with the Iron Shields Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club here in New York and Maryland, and I’m proud to have made this ride. It was hard to focus on the road at times when your eyes are teared up.

    Cheers
    georgia
    Iron Shields LE MC

  4. nbpundit
    August 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Ground Zero should have left a hulking blood
    spattered smoking mountain of destruction.
    With a banner of stone saying “Never Forget”…

  5. August 25, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I wish I had known. I would have driven the 90 miles down there.

  6. Michael Burke
    August 25, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    What’s ironic and tragic about this is that same piece of WTC steel, in order not to tell us “what to think,” could not be returned to the WTC site. As per those responsible for the billion dollar, eight acre memorial there. None of the authentic artifacts of the WTC that speak directly to the history of 9/11 – the facade remnant, the Koenig Sphere will be restored to where they stood Sept. 11, 2001. As per the 13 member jury that picked and remade the final design, no history of 9/11 may be found on the site “in order to preserve the intgerity of the memorial.”

    That is why any steel of the WTC that is returned must go inside the “visitor’s center” – not returned to where it stood 9/11. Why the crushed fire trucks and flyers of the missing cannot be made visible to visitors to the WTC site.

    Why the victims of the attacks will be identified only as “lost” to causes unknown.

    Visitors to the site are not to gain any knowledge of what happened here Sept. 11, 2001; they are to find no sense of vigilance, make no judgments, find no inspiration or resolve.

    Visitors will not be permitted to confront 9/11 at the WTC site; instead 9/11 will be replaced with minimalist architecture meant to impose a meaning of “ambiguity.”

    Trees and waterfalls will cover the site, effectively eradicting any memory or reference to the WTC and 9/11. They will remake the site to provide a sense of serenity – at the WTC site – and of comfort and solace and healing – from something not referenced.

    Americans made this ride and firefighters traveled great distances to honor the memory of 9/11; the destruction and death, by wanton attack upon America, of innocents and the heroism and sacrifice in response. A proper sense of duty compels them to do so.

    At the WTC, according to the handful behind the memorial, led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC, our only obligation at the WTC site will be to ourselves.

    As two memorial jurors, James E. Young of the U. of Mass. and Michael Van Valkenburgh of Harvard wrote in a NY Times op-ed of May 18th, ’06, cryptically entitled “A Last Chance at Ground Zero,” this is the memorial “each of us, 9/11 family member and greater public need and deserve.”

    If that is all you learned from 9/11 you have learned nothing. 9/11 was not about what each of us are owed but what each of us owe each other. And by that Americans, despite the horror and death and destruction, made 9/11 finally a day and time of triumph. A time as great as any in our history.

    And none more so than those who died and sacrificed.

    Instead of that we will get a nice, politically correct place that does not blame or allow blame of anybody for anything that happened here. That confers no responsibities in response. That will provide visitors with nothing but a vast exercise in narcissim and future generations a lesson in the vanity of a long gone people so wrapped up in themselves that they responded to the attacks upon America with a massive tribute to themselves; to what they “needed and deserved.”

    This is not the American way. But then that was the point; the memorial is meant to be decidely and determinedly anti-American.

    The 13 member jury that ignored all that America did and said in commemorating 9/11 and instead dictated their own vision for it (remarkably un-American right there), found traditional American passions and values and ideas absurd and ridiculous.

    They embrace and represent a multi-cultural, European intellectualism-envy point of view.

    Traditional expressions of patriotism and faith and Americanism; that is, strength and perseverance and that “can do spirit,” and any depiction or recognition of 9/11 are considered hopelessly gauche, didactic and jingonistic.

    One anniversary, while standing on bedrock, architect Michael Arad told me that returning the authentic artifcts to the site would be “didactic.” That is, moralizing. The site would include a political or moral message; it must be remade to eliminate that.

    Which eliminates the meaning of all those who died there.

    The hundreds of trees upon the site will symbolize “the regeneration of life.” You know, the “circle of life.” Just like “The Lion King.”

    There will not be, however, any recognition of the salvation or deliverance of the immortal soul of those innocents taken that day (that would imply they were “innocent” which would imply that the um, “attackers” were “guilty”)or even any recognition that they had a soul.

    All life is “regenerated” equally; the not innocent victims and the not gulity attackers.

    Even though our Judeo-Christian traditions were at least part of the target 9/11, recognizing them in any way, the jury believes, would imply that Americans see Judeo-Christian and “Western” values as more um, American than say, the Islamic values of those who attacked.

    It would also imply that truth does not belong to the individual and therefore we owe something to something greater than ourselves.

    Which runs counter to the values and beliefs of the jury; so we will see no expression of that.

    If you want to know why the memorial will NOT recognize the heroism and sacrifice of 9/11, that’s it.

    All of those sponataneous memorials of the people that sprung up across the land – most which were very powerful because in a very simple and humble way they confronted the attacks and the values targeted; none of that is permitted at the site.

    During their deliberations the jury referred to the iconic facade remnant as the “potato chip.”

    America gazed at that – and segmants of it such as that featured in this story and saw 9/11; the jury saw junk food.

    The head of the jury, Vartan Gregorian, born in Iran, wrote, in response to the attacks, “Islam, A Mosaic, Not a Monolith.” It is a history of Islam in which every transgression of Islam is equated with or topped by the West and Christianity. Muslim conquerors brought enlightment, intellectualism and tolerance; the West brought persecution and oppression.

    All troubles of the Muslim Middle East today with modernism and democracy is blamed on Western post-colonialism and the creation of the State of Israel.

    The attacks of 9/11 are blamed not Muslims or Arabs or even Islamic fundamentalists but on “terrorists.” This is like blaming the Holocaust not on Germans or Nazis, but on “genocidists.”

    While Gregorian is careful to distingush between “Islamist militants” and the other billion Muslims in the world, he evidently does not trust that Americans are capable of that, so we commemorate 9/11 by rejecting all reference to it(though he also refers to, without specifying who they are, “Western militants.” One gets the impression that they are anybody, besides him, who wishes to blame the 9/11 attacks on “Islamist militants”).

    Americans are chided for their ignorance of and their belliegerance toward Islam. Americans, we are told, believe that “history is irrelevant; unfortunatly it is not.”

    Except at the WTC site.

    In that NY Times op-ed Young and Van Valkenburgh wrote of their vision for the memorial – without using the words “hijack,” “terrorits,” “attacks” or “Islam” or “fundamentalism.” Or “sacrifice” or “heroism.”

    All of that is irrelevant to their memorial. The one “each of us need and deserve.”

    And though they could not bring themselves to mention 9/11 when discussing their 9/11 memorial, they did write that 9/11 has been “subject to unfortunate political exploitation.” Read: Iraq.

    Americans are too ignorant of Islam, too belligerant toward it; we exploited 9/11 to attack others; the WTC site must be remade so that it does not acknowledge the attacks (“a flight from signification” as one art critic praised it). None of our values that were targeted will be recognized at the WTC site.

    The picture becomes pretty clear: in face of the 9/11 attacks, it is America the world needs to fear.

    There’s more; there’s ever more.

    In a ’98 interview with the Shoah Resource Center in Jerusalem, Young praised Maya Lin’s (who sat on the jury) Vietnam War memorial for “capturing the nation’s ambivilance toward the war.” Then they used it as a model for the 9/11 memorial at the WTC site.

    Ambivilance. Sept. 11. I don’t think most Americans saw it that way.

    The jury wants visitors to stand upon the site and without any reference to 9/11, wonder what happened here and ask themselves who was guilty (if anyone) and who was innocent (if anyone).

    The goal of the jury is to undo the memory of 9/11 from the nation’s consciousness.

    In this interview, Young warned of modern memorials, following Lin’s minimalist lead, of being so esoteric and narcisstic that they inspire nothing more than “self-paralysis.” Then he recited a litany of then cocktail party issues that demanded attention and action: the Vietnam Boat people, Rwanda, the persecution of Muslims by Serbs.

    At the WTC, where America was attacked? 9/11 deserves no attention; the site should inspire nothing more than self-paralysis.

    Still more: not only by everything they did was it clear what values the American people expected to expressed when commemorating 9/11 (for instance, the number of firefighters here and the recognition of that make it a safe conclusion that gee, maybe the memorial should recognize and honor the sacrifice of the firefighters, 9/11. It won’t: the acronym FDNY and the word “firefighter” has been ruled inappropriate for the memorial. As well as “NYPD,” and “PAPD” and the words “police officer”)they ignored everything Americans said they wanted to commemorate 9/11.

    In public and online forums (www.imagineny.org) in November and December, ’03, participants rejected all the final designs of the jury and their bizarre, non-9/11, 9/11 memorial concept.

    “Where are the authentic artifacts?” they asked. “They hold an inherent story telling ability that abstract symbolism could never duplicate.”

    Telling the story of 9/11 is exactly not the purpose of the remade WTC site.

    “Future generations will take one look at that steel and know what happened here.”

    Exactly. And exactly why, as per the jury, they will not be returned to the site.

    “The memorial and/or jury process has failed,” participants concluded.

    “This report,” we are told, “was provided to the LMDC and the jury.”

    And ignored. In their op-ed, Young and Van Valkenburgh wrote their design choice was “overwhelmingly approved by the public.”

    America, us and future generations needs and deserves a WTC site that recognizes and honors Sept. 11, 2001. We are not getting that.

    Note: On 9/11, my brother, FDNY Captain William F. Burke, Jr., of Eng. Co. 21 gave his life. I served on the family advisory committee on the memorial to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp and the advisory committee on the memorial/museum center.

  7. August 25, 2008 at 8:37 am

    These were some awesome pictures. I had two cousins in the tower one at the first bombing and one when the plans hit. Both got out safely.
    The second, when the planes hit was help out by NYC Bravest. I’ve played with our Pipe Band at many Fireman memorials and funerals, since then and will always come when they call, why because they do!

    Thanks for sharing!

    James ‘Spy’ Reilly
    President
    Rolling Thunder Ch 9 Ohio
    http://www.rollingthunderoh9.org

    President
    Cincinnati Caledonian Pipes and Drum
    http://www.cincypipesanddrums.org

  8. August 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I had the honor to be on Rt. 440 in Staten Island to photograph this historic event. A day that I will never forget. God Bless our Fallen Brothers and God Bless the U.S.A.!!!

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