9/11 wreckage to be sold to highest bidder

Susan Edelman and Aaron Short New York Post

A Virginia auction house is seeking to put a price on a piece of 9/11 by selling a 20-ton monument made from two steel beams salvaged from the fallen north tower of the World Trade Center.

Fletcher Smoak Jr. commissioned the monument from steel beams that came from the destroyed World Trade Center. Photo: Motleys.com

Fletcher Smoak Jr. commissioned the monument from steel beams that came from the destroyed World Trade Center. Photo: Motleys.com

The memorial was commissioned shortly after the terror attacks by Fletcher Smoak Jr., former owner of a Salem, Va.-based brick company. He acquired the beams for $1,500 from a friend who ran a New York-area scrap-metal company.

“It’s very moving,” Smoak said of the memorial he fashioned from the beams, which are propped up so they resemble the Twin Towers. “They were covered in ash. We cleaned them up.”

Smoak sold his company in 2005. The new owner ran the business into the ground and liquidated everything in April, including the monument.

As of Saturday, the top bid on the monument was $10. Bidding closes July 14.

Retired FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Riches, whose firefighter son, Jimmy, was killed on 9/11, called the auction “sickening.”

“I think it’s disgraceful. It wasn’t meant to be sold. I don’t think they have the right to sell it,” he said. “My son was in the north tower with other men from Engine 4. They got up to the 30th floor. That could have been one of the last beams they stood on.”

Smoak thinks the memorial is fine just where it is, in front of his former business.

“This is a permanent memorial,” he said. “This was dedicated. We had an Episcopal minister consecrate it, and we put a plaque on it with names of officers and the 91st Psalm. It’s just sick to take this.”

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