The city’s 9/11 Memorial Garden is one step closer to completion after a twisted steel beam from the World Trade Center wreckage was hoisted into place at the corner of North Rexford Drive and Burton Way on Tuesday.
“This was a big deal for us because we actually are seeing the steel that came from the World Trade Center site be erected,” Beverly Hills told Patch. “This is one of those milestones in the creation of this memorial that really had a huge significance for all of us.”
Scranton said the city has raised more than $350,000 in private donations for the project, with an additional $150,000 worth of donated materials, supplies from contractors and labor. The steel itself was free, but shipping it to Beverly Hills was not.
“I went to the Rotary Club [of Beverly Hills] and talked to the president and said, ‘We need about $2,500 to have this steel shipped from New York to California,’ ” Scranton said. “They wrote us a check and they were our first partners in this memorial.”
To acquire the wreckage from the Twin Towers, which were destroyed during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, taking nearly 3,000 lives, the had to apply to the New York Port Authority to receive the wreckage.
“We were accepted as an applicant and we competed the process of meeting all the criteria before you can actually receive an artifact from the World Trade Center site,” Scranton said. “Then I was sent photographs of available steel to select from. I personally selected this piece of steel.”
The city commissioned a flatbed truck to get the 30-foot, 1,900-pound beam from the East Coast to the West Coast. The fire department has had the relic since December 2009 and the city has been planning the memorial ever since. The groundbreaking for the site took place on Sept. 11, 2010, and dedication for the memorial is set for Sept. 11, 2011.
“This is probably one of the best projects that I’ve ever in my life been able to participate in because it’s something that is bigger than any one person,” Scranton said. “Everybody has come together and it’s going to be a phenomenal memorial befitting for those that were lost.”