The long process to receive a piece of Sacred Ground that ended last Monday, started for the Berlin Fire Department back in 2009 when it was learned that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began allowing organizations to petition for steel from the World Trade Center.
In May 2012 as the Fire Department was completing its design for a flagpole area it was decided that they would petition to acquire a piece of steel.
The first contact with the Port Authority was a bit disheartening when it was learned that the application process had closed. Although applications were no longer being accepted the Port Authority informed the department to be patient and if another organization did not pick up their artifact the department request could still be accepted.
On October 2, 2012 the department’s patience was rewarded when they were notified that they had been approved for a WTC artifact. After several months of back and forth emails and phone calls the long wait came to an end on Monday, February 18 at 12:49 pm when the non-descript box from UPS was signed for at the firehouse.
The box remained unopened until our department meeting that evening when it was opened by Captain Kaczmarek and the long journey was over.
Plans are currently in the works to display the artifact at the Town Hall to allow Town residents an opportunity to view it. After that the steel will be moved to its permanent location below the American Flag at the Berlin Firehouse.
Some facts about the artifact: ID# I-0007J, length: 27”, Width: 12”, Height: 10” and it weighs 95 pounds.
Photo and article submitted by Lt. Matt Odishoo, Berlin Fire Department