See WTC beam during NA 9/11 observance

Wikipedia 9/11 Memorial at Zadroga Park.
9/11 Memorial at Zadroga Park.


A steel beam recovered from the WTC, donated to the North Arlington Volunteer Fire Department by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey in recognition of first responders’ 9/11 efforts, will be available for public viewing during this year’s 9/11 observance.

Mayor Joseph Bianchi said he has directed Borough Administrator Stephen LoIacono to arrange for the Public Works Department to transport the 12 1/2-foot-long, 400-pound section of steel from storage at the DPW garage, probably on a flatbed trailer, to Zadroga Park for Friday’s 9/11 anniversary.

“The gates to the park [off Schuyler Ave.] will be opened at 8 a.m. and people will be welcome to come down there to view our Twin Towers monument and we will also have a spot reserved for the World Trade Center beam,” the mayor said. The park will close at dusk, he said.

In Sept. 2008, the park, then known as the Skyline Drive Sports Complex, which had provided an overlook view of the Twin Towers, was renamed for the late NYPD Det. James Zadroga, a North Arlington resident, who died in January 2006 at the age of 34.

Zadroga spent 450 hours in recovery efforts at the 9/11 attack site and, weeks later, developed serious respiratory issues leading to his death which one New Jersey pathologist linked to his exposure to toxic dust at Ground Zero – a finding that was contradicted by the New York City Medical Examiner but affirmed by Dr. Michael Baden, chief forensic pathologist of the New York State Police.

In August 2014, then-New York Gov. George Pataki signed what became known as the James Zadroga Act to provide death benefits to those who worked/volunteered at Ground Zero who passed away from cancer and respiratory diseases as well as medical benefits to those needing treatment for lung diseases, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease and different types of cancer.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Msgr. William Fadrowski is inviting the North Arlington community to a special 9/11 commemorative service at Queen of Peace Church, 10 Franklin Place.

At the service, which will last about a half-hour, the mayor and Borough Council will make a presentation. Members of the Volunteer Fire Department, Police Department and various civic and religious leaders are expected to attend.

Bianchi said he’s hoping that an appropriate memorial setting for the steel beam “will be erected for next year’s 9/11 observance,” which will be the 15-year anniversary of the tragedy.

How will that project be financed? “We’re waiting for the funds to come through,” the mayor replied. He declined to elaborate.

A council majority had voted in March 2014 to designate the exterior of the Schuyler Ave. firehouse on River Road as the place where the beam memorial should be. Asked if that was still the case, Bianchi said: “It’s a cross between the firehouse and Zadroga Park. It’s not set in stone.”

– Ron Leir 

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