NEW CANAAN, Conn. – A rusted, twisted beam from the Twin Towers is now part of a solemn Sept. 11 memorial outside the New Canaan Fire Department.
“A lot of people stop, stare and touch it,” said Assistant New Canaan Fire Chief Jack Hennessey. “Some people have left flowers. They appreciate that it’s out there, and it’s something that catches people's attention.”
New Canaan firefighters, led by Capt. Mike Socci, and crews from the New Canaan Public Works Department recently placed the memorial in front of the firehouse on Main Street. It features the 1,400-pound beam that was once part of the first tower in New York’s World Trade Center. It also has four steel doves, representing the four planes hijacked and crashed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, and a pentagon-shaped base, representative of the nation’s main military building that was hit by one of the airliners.
The department wanted to have the memorial in place for the town’s Memorial Day Parade, Hennessey said. Officials had considered putting the memorial in Mead Park or Irwin Park but opted to place it in front of the firehouse, which previously had no memorial.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey distributed 2,000 pieces of the fallen towers to towns that requested them with the condition that the beams be made available for public display.
New Canaan’s memorial is not yet finished. Hennessey said they plan to install a plaque honoring the three New Canaan residents who died in the attacks as well as the men and women in New Canaan’s emergency response agencies who went to New York to assist. The fire department will also install a new flagpole. The rest of the memorial should be finished in time for Sept. 11 ceremonies this fall, Hennessey said.