WTC Memorial Beams in Chatham CountyMar 04, 2008
The steel that will be used to build the World Trade Center memorial in New York City is being kept in a warehouse in Chatham County.
Four pieces of that steel have some real sentimental value. They are now part of a living memorial, touched by so many people who were touched by the tragedy of 9-11.
Each beam is 40 feet long and weighs four tons. They are covered with signatures and messages to those killed in the terror attack on the World Trade Center. The beams have been all over the country, to cities and to schools. For the time being, they are being kept in a warehouse just off Jimmy DeLoach Parkway.
Chris Rawlins is the vice president of sales for Ocean Link, Inc. “We’ve been allowed custody to babysit these guys until they are ready to go to New York,” said Rawlins.
Rawlins estimates about a million people have signed the beams. He has become emotionally involved in this project and says it’s hard not to, “It’s humbling, it’s personally humbling. If you stand and read the signatures long enough it will put a lump in your throat.”
One woman wrote, “In memory of my beautiful daughter Maria and all the 9-11 victims, Love, Mommy”.
Another message is in memory of Robert Cordice, New York Fire Department Squad One. “We will always remember you as our hero,” it reads. It’s signed, Aunt Gena and Uncle Al.
“It’s touching to see the things that are written and the expressions of care and compassion that people all over the county have offered to the people in New York city and they’ve been signed by people who have lost loved ones, personally effected by the tragedy and 9-11 as all of us were,” said Rawlins. “It’s humbling and it’s an honor to be a part of it.”
Rawlins signature is on one of the beams. His family signed their names too. “I can’t wait to be able to take my kids to New York City one day and show them these when they are on display at the memorial,” said Rawlins.
They are going to be a part of history.
Rawlins said it is unclear when the beams will be shipped to New York. The beams were made by Owen Steel Company out of Columbia, South Carolina.