WTC steel monument formally dedicated

Matthew Ern Long Island Herald

On Sunday, a steel beam recovered from the wreckage of the World Trade Center was dedicated at a ceremony attended by about 200 people at the VFW Plaza, on West Park Avenue at Grand Boulevard.

Dedication of Long Beach 9/11 memorial Photo Long Island Herald

Dedication of Long Beach 9/11 memorial Photo Long Island Herald

The monument was installed last December but was formally recognized this weekend. The ceremony was conducted as a joint effort between the city and Long Beach VFW Post 1384, with representatives from American Legion Post 972, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Long Beach Fire Department and the Long Beach Police Department also in attendance. Organizers estimated about 200 people in attendance.

The beam was one of three donated to Long Beach in 2002, but had been kept in storage ever since. Long Beach resident Keith Grant, a U.S. Army veteran and member of the VFW who served two tours in Iraq, proposed installing a new memorial to the city last year.

The memorial’s plaque reads, “This monument stands as a symbol of the strength and resolve of all of those who answered the call on September 11, 2001, and each day since, at home and abroad,” an inscription read aloud by Councilwoman Eileen Goggin at the ceremony.

Other members of the City Council, County Legislator Denise Ford and City Manager Jack Schnirman also spoke.

“The steel that we dedicate today was recovered from the destroyed towers of the World Trade Center following the attacks of September 11, 2001,” Schnirman told the crowd. “The following year, it was part of a gift from the City of New York to the people of Long Beach, thanks to the efforts of the Long Beach communications director at that time, Matt Dwyer. The intent was for the steel to be used as part of a tribute to those from our community who responded, who were lost, and for the families who carried on. One year ago, the city and the Long Beach VFW came together to create a plan to at long last provide an appropriate and respectful home for this steel, where it will not only honor our neighbors affected by the tragedy in the days, weeks and months that followed, but also those who carried on the mission to each corner of the globe.”

Two Long Beach men formally completed the dedication with a wreath laying in honor of their fallen brothers. Retired firefighter Rob Carlo, whose brother Michael died at the World Trade Center, and Josh Goldfeder, whose brother, Army Spc. Jacob Fletcher, was killed in action in Iraq, honored the memory of their brothers by jointly laying the ceremonial wreath as the VFW honor guard fired a three-round salute, followed by the bugle call of Taps.

Retired FDNY Battalion Chief Robert Gleason and US Army Maj. Stoney Portis also served as guest speakers. The ceremony concluded with members of the public paying their respects by laying poppies at the base of the monument.

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