ALBANY, NY --Transportation Security Administration officials at Albany International Airport today unveiled a piece of steel that was salvaged from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
The striking piece of steel I-beam recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Center is a powerful reminder of how important TSA’s national security mission is. The artifact is 31 inches long, 15 inches deep, 8 inches high and weighs approximately 206 pounds; however it sits vertically in the case, standing tall. The I-beam is rusted and shows damage from the attack, a visual representation of the devastation experienced in 2001. It now serves as a reminder to the men and women of TSA who remain firm in their resolve to prevent another attack.
“Looking at this piece of steel today is a stark reminder of the terrorist attacks of September 11th and it reinforces to all why TSA exists in preventing this type of attack from occurring again.” said TSA’s Upstate New York Federal Security Director Bart Johnson. “To me, and to the many dedicated security officers who work here, it reminds us why we came onboard with TSA and why each of us took an oath on our first day of service.
“This sacred piece of steel serves as a haunting memory of that day, 15 years ago. It is a day that changed our lives forever,” he said. “It is my hope that this artifact and display will always serve as a reminder to travelers as to why TSA exists and why we do what we do each day, and may it also be an inspiration to our current and future TSA officers to continue to do our best in carrying out our mission every single day.”
A memorial plaque rests in the display case with the artifact and points out that the steel beam was erected in 1968 as part of the frame of one of the two World Trade Center towers and “collapsed under the weight of events that would profoundly affect human history.” The plaque goes on to state that the beam should serve “to invite solemn reflection on the past, and summon hope for the future.”
The Albany office of TSA was awarded the artifact from the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey. It is on permanent display in a case located in the upper level of the airport terminal, adjacent to the Military Courtesy Room and is accessible for viewing by the public. Airport officials provided the display case to house the historic artifact.