Yonkers receives World Trade Center beam for 9/11 memorial

By Colin Gustafson The Journal News

A 38-foot steel beam from the World Trade Center will be installed at Conor Park as a new 9/11 memorial to be dedicated on the 11th anniversary of the attacks, city officials said Wednesday.

The beam arrived in Yonkers, draped in a huge U.S. flag on the back of a truck, for a welcoming reception with top city officials outside St. Mary’s Church on South Broadway on Wednesday afternoon. The event featured a salute by a Police Department color guard and a blessing from the Rev. James Healy of St. Paul’s Church.

The city government secured the beam from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey earlier this year as part of an effort spearheaded by Mayor Mike Spano and Councilman Dennis Shepherd.

The mayor said the memorial will offer a place where people can pay tribute to the 24 Yonkers residents who died on 9/11 and to those who later died serving their country.

“This is a tremendous moment for the people of our great city,” Spano said. “We all know what we were doing at the moment that metal twisted and those lives were lost.”

City resident Antonio Coaxum rode with the beam’s police escort to the reception. His son, Staff Sgt. Courtney Hollinsworth, died five years ago, at age 24, serving with the Army in Iraq.

“It’s a beautiful thing for Yonkers,” Coaxum said of the planned memorial. “We want generation after generation after generation to know why we all stand here and have the freedom we have.”

The beam will be erected in the coming weeks and will be dedicated at 7:30pm September 11 at Conor Park off  McLean Avenue near Central Park Avenue.

The city also plans to unveil a plaque with the names of residents who died in the attacks at 11 am September 9 on the waterfront at Water Grant Street.

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