Oak Forest Now Home to 9/11 Steel Beam
A 400-pound steel beam from the World Trade Center, which was destroyed Sept. 11, 2001, is now part of Oak Forest. The beam will be displayed during the I Am An American parade and then placed at City Hall, until officials can decide on a permanent spot.
A piece of American history found a new home in Oak Forest and will be displayed during the I Am An American parade on Saturday, Sept. 15. The piece, a metal beam from the World Trade Center that was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, will ride in a red, white, and blue painted public works truck during the parade.
The steel beam was secured for the city with the help of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Illinois Senator Maggie Crotty, and Grane Trucking Company, Maher said. The beam weighs approximately 400 pounds and is mangled and twisted from the attacks, according to a press release from the city.
Acquiring the beam was no small feat, said Chrissy Maher, Oak Forest's Public Relations Coordinator, and it was Mayor Hank Kuspa who spearheaded the effort for the city, including securing transportation for the beam from New York to Oak Forest.
“We had issues with transportation, like finding someone to haul it over here for us, that's when the mayor's full-time employer [Grane Trucking Company] came in, to help us haul it,” said Maher.
Maher added that the beam could be displayed at the National Firefighters Challenge, although details were still being worked out.
Following the parade the beam will be housed at the Oak Forest City Hall, until a permanent placement can be decided by a committee of residents, city officials and emergency responders.
“Our plan is to appoint a committee comprised of fire, police and emergency management personnel to create a fitting memorial using the beam as a main focal point,” Mayor Hand Kuspa said in a press release. “The beam will serve as a reminder of those who lost their lives on 9/11 as well as help us to honor those who serve and protect us on a daily basis.”