Toms River Township to Dedicate WTC Steel
Toms River Township Mayor Thomas Kelaher held a presentation on May 30, 2012, for the transfer of a piece of steel from the former World Trade Center to be located on the grounds of Town Hall. The steel was given to the Township by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Representatives from both the Port Authority and the Governor’s Office attended the memorial event.
In a prepared statement by Governor Chris Christie, read by Christopher Stark from the Governor’s office, Christie said, “The artifact will be a permanent memorial to those we lost during the tragic events of September 11th…I extend my sincere gratitude for your ongoing contributions towards building a brighter future for the Garden State and for ensuring we forever honor the lives lost on that day.”
Bill Baroni, the Deputy Executive Director for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said to the memorial crowd, “Partnering with the mayor and the town is an important part of our mission at the Port Authority. The Governor has made this a top priority to have pieces of the World Trade Center steel in NJ & throughout. People will always be able to come and see the steel and be reminded of what we lost that day.”
Baroni said that sections of the World Trade Center steel are now in all 50 states and seven foreign countries, as well as some military bases. “We are still getting requests from all over the world because the whole world watched on 9/11 and people remember where they were that day,” Baroni added, “I learned that Mayor Kelaher doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. He wrote letters and kept pursuing us to have this piece of history. It’s a lengthy process because a federal judge has to grant permission to give the beams to the Township because the steel is evidence of a crime scene.”
Kelaher said, “Today was a very meaningful day for Toms River and we appreciate receiving a piece of steel from the World Trade Center that was destroyed on 9/11. We’re grateful to the Port Authority for extending this section to us. Our intention is to make this a permanent memorial in the Toms River courtyard so that people will be reminded of what happened on 9/11 and will never forget.”
Councilman Al Manforti attended the ceremony and echoed the sentiments of Mayor Kelaher. “Not only did two people from Toms River die on 9/11 in the World Trade Center collapse, but there are a number of people from the area who died or are still suffering after-effects from the dust from the World Trade Center.”