CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) - A scorched piece of a steel beam that was salvaged from the collapsed World Trade Center towers is now on permanent display at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
The chunk of steel, which resembles an open book, was unveiled Monday as part of a 9/11 memorial. The event was organized by the Transportation Security Administration and marked the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
The piece of beam was from 1 World Trade Center (the North Tower), which collapsed at 10:28 a.m. after burning for just over 100 minutes, TSA officials said.
The plane, piloted into the building by a terrorist, ripped a hole in the tower from the 94th to the 98th floors. It caused massive structural damage and ignited some 3,000 of the 10,000 gallons of jet fuel the plane was carrying, according to History.com.
The piece of steel shows damage from the attack. It is on display in an enclosed case by Checkpoint E in the departures level of the terminal.
A memorial plaque atop the display states: "During the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, close to 3,000 innocent people were killed in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, including nearly 400 first responders. This artifact is part of a steel beam taken from the ruins of the World Trade Center."
"It serves to remind us of our mission," said TSA's North Carolina Federal Security Director Kevin Frederick. "It reminds us of why we are here, why we dedicate ourselves to the mission to protect travelers. Why what we do is so very important, even now, 16 years after the terrorists attacked our homeland."
Nearly 2,000 sections twisted steel were among the thousands of artifacts saved during the recovery effort in New York City, PBS reported last year. Many of the pieces have been disseminated to locations across the country, it was reported.