Since You Asked: Why hasn't 9/11 girder been set in memorial?
Q: A year ago, I attended the 9/11 groundbreaking ceremony at the Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County. The Oswald-Tudor Fire Department had a 170-pound girder from the World Trade Center that was to be installed as a memorial to that tragic day. It is one year later and the girder has not been installed. What happened to this project? Will it ever be completed?
A: Firefighters and museum officials remain committed to the memorial, but are stuck in a financial limbo.
A contractor who had volunteered to donate the labor backed out last year, and firefighters have been unable to jump-start the project ever since.
"That's where we started running into all the financial issues," fire Capt. Ken Clark explained. "We need to try to raise the money or find another contractor willing to donate their services."
Pulled from the World Trade Center ruins after Sept. 11, 2001, the two-foot steel I-beam is housed at the Oswald-Tudor Fire Department on Barry Road in Yuba City. A plaque explaining its significance has been mounted on the short, heavy piece of American history.
"We don't know which tower it came from, whether it was one of the twin towers or one of the ancillary towers," Clark said.
Clark said the girder was one of many pieces of ground zero given away a few years ago for use in memorials around the country.
"Some organizations brought back huge I-beams that were also given away," Clark said. "They gave away emergency vehicles, too; ambulances and fire engines."
Sharyl Simmons, assistant curator at the museum, hopes the project will regain momentum as soon as possible.
"The spot is blocked out and has been sited for quite a while," Simmons said.
It's not clear how much money the department needs to raise to complete the installation.
"It's still on our minds — we hope to get back on it," Clark said. "We need to do something."
They just need a little help.
Since You Asked is published on Mondays. Send questions to reporter Rob Parsons at the Appeal-Democrat, 1530 Ellis Lake Drive, Marysville, CA 95901, email him at rparsons@ appealdemocrat.com or call 749-4785.