An artifact from the World Trade Center site was unveiled this morning at a ceremony at Dawes Park in Evanston on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Top: Naval ROTC cadets from Northwestern University remove the flag that had been draped over the 9/11 artifact. Above: Fire Chief Greg Klaiber.

Evanston Fire Chief Greg Klaiber said the damaged piece of steel was one of just 1,200 artifacts distributed by the Port Authority of New York to fire departments around the country in response to requests it had received from more than 90,000 departments.

He said the item would be placed on permanent display in the vestibule of Evanston fire headquarters on Lake Street, along with a sculpture donated by Evanston artist Valerie Engel Schiff, also unveiled this morning, that is based on a photo of a firefighter still working on recovery efforts at the trade center site months after the disaster.

Firefighter sculpture by Evanston artist Valerie Engel Schiff.

About 300 people, including uniformed groups of local firefighters and police officers, turned out for the ceremony which also featured singing of the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful.

Police Chief Richard Eddington praised the commitment to safety of the first responders on 9/11, noting that while over 3,000 people died, New York Mayor Rudy Guliani had initially estimated that the two planes crashing into the trade center towers could have killed as many as 40,000 people.

The toll for public safety workers in the rescue efforts was high, with Klaiber recalling that New York lost 343 firefighters and 60 police officers at the trade center.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *