A metal beam from the World Trade Center has been obtained by the Mercer Island Fire Department. It will be installed at the South end fire station.
The beam, which was part of the WTC parking garage, weighs 30,000 pounds.
"We are receiving the very last piece that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will release — they are closing down operations related to the 9/11 artifacts," Fire Chief Chris Tubbs stated. "We feel exceedingly honored to be approved to receive a piece of this history. To receive the very last piece is an honor unto itself."
Tubbs wrote to the Port and requested a piece of the World Trade Center. Many fire departments across the nation have requested such pieces, but have been turned down.
The Mercer Island Fire Department has its own connection to 9/11.
Battalion Chief Shawn Matheson immediately deployed to Ground Zero as a search specialist, aiding in rescue and recovery. Matheson is a member of the FEMA/DHS Urban Search and Rescue System. The fire department awarded the Distinguished Service Medal to Matheson for his work at Ground Zero.
A number of design concepts for the metal beam have been discussed, including "Gateway of Service" and "Pillars of Light."
"We're working on how we're going to pay for getting it out here because transportation isn't included nor is cutting the piece to the size we want," said Bonnie Bradley, of the Mercer Island Arts Council. "We have to find somebody to cut it and transport it."
Some of the logistics may be coordinated with Boeing.