SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The centerpieces of several Bay Area communities’ memorial events on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be steel from the collapsed twin towers.
The steel was recovered from the World Trade Center after 9/11 and secured in Hangar 17 at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the September 11th Families Association teamed up in 2009 to distribute more than 1,800 steel artifacts from the attack to organizations interested in creating memorials.
There were conditions to obtaining the steel, including that the memorials had to be displayed in training grounds for uniformed personnel, parks, or other public places, and that the steel could not be sold.
The steel has been distributed to sites in all 50 states and seven foreign countries, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
In the Bay Area, steel from the twin towers has gone to Suisun City, Napa, Dixon, Vacaville, Travis Air Force Base and the Ross Valley Fire Department.
The Ross Valley Fire Department received its steel four months ago. The 12-inch by 16-inch of steel, which weighs 65 pounds, will be included in a monument in front of the fire station at 777 San Anselmo Ave. in San Anselmo.
As in many other communities, a dedication ceremony will be held at 9:11 a.m. on Sept. 11.
The Napa 9/11 Memorial Project received six pieces of steel in May. Artist Gordon Huether is creating a steel-and-glass sculpture for a memorial on a site west of Main Street, adjacent to a parking area near the Kohl’s department store. Completion is expected in the spring of 2012.
Landscape architect Gretchen McCann will help design a 9/11 Memorial Garden at the site, where there will be a groundbreaking and blessing at noon on Sept. 11.
Napa Fire Marshal Darren Drake said community groups that are part of the Memorial Project submitted the application for the steel in October 2009 and signed a contract for the metal on Dec. 22, 2010.
Huether visited Hangar 17 to examine the available artifacts, Drake said.
“He came back and said we should ask for all six pieces. Fortunately, we got all six,” Drake said.
Napa-based Biagi Brothers Trucking Company volunteered to transport the steel to the West Coast. “They drove across the country twice,” Drake said.
The Napa community memorial will allow people to reflect on the events of that day 10 years ago, Drake said. “Some people are beginning to forget,” he said.
There will be a separate dedication on Sept. 11 at the Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa.
The outdoor portion of the museum, located at 2230 Becker Blvd., contains the first Air Force F-15A “Eagle” fighter aircraft to arrive over New York City after the attacks.
The aircraft escorted more than 80 other planes out of New York airspace as an air defense plan was developed for the city that day.
The museum is building an exhibit around the F-15A aircraft. It will honor those who responded to the terrorist attacks, those who died in the tragedy and the heroism of Air Force pilots and Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers.
The 2 p.m. ceremony is free.