The Long Beach VFW is moving to create a new memorial featuring steel from the World Trade Center that the City of Long Beach has reportedly been in possession of for the past 12 years.
In 2002, The City of Long Beach secured a gift of three pieces of World Trade Center (WTC) steel from the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, where all WTC debris had been sorted. One piece was donated by the city to the school district, while the other two were held by the city for use in a future memorial.
As of today, no city memorial with this steel was ever established (West End Memorial is using different WTC steel). City officials have acknowledged that one of the two pieces is no longer accounted for; they do not when or how it went missing. The other piece remains in their possession.
Army veteran Keith Grant, former editor of the Long Beach Herald who accompanied the steel from Staten Island back to Long Beach, is on a mission to finally get this steel displayed in Long Beach. At the May 6th City Council meeting, Keith read the following letter submitted by the VFW Post Commander Dan MacPhee asking the city to transfer the steel to the VFW so a memorial can finally be made.
Lt. John F. O’Grady Post 1384
Veterans of Foreign Wars
675 West Park Avenue
Long Beach, NY 11561
06 MAY 2014
ATTN: Members of the Long Beach City Council
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The John F. O’Grady Post 1384 has long played an active role in the Long Beach community, partnering with the City, civic groups, and non-profit organizations to serve not only our fellow veterans, but our entire community. Our members are dedicated to ensuring their service to the public does not end when they take off their uniforms.
We are proud of our participation in the growth of many prominent local events, our long-standing commitment to the men and women of the Northport VA hospital, our support for veteran and non-veteran programs around the nation, our recently expanded high school scholarship program, and the frequent use of our post as a meeting place by residents for numerous civic and social events.
In the spirit of our active role within the community and as a symbol of our commitment to all of those who sacrifice in service to our country, the Long Beach VFW would like to propose the transfer of the World Trade Center steel currently in the city’s possession to our Post for the purpose of creating an appropriate community memorial. This sacred steel memorial would honor the strength of our residents impacted on September 11, 2001, and the courage of our current generation of veterans who volunteered their service to the nation over the 12 years since that day.
We believe this action is necessary to at long-last provide an appropriate and respectful home for this World Trade Center steel, one where it will remain under the watchful eye of our local veterans who have protected this country at home and abroad. With the approach of Memorial Day, the day the nation sets aside to remember those who gave their lives in service to our nation, we respectfully request prompt and appropriate action on this request.
Commander, Post 1384