Column No. 1,001 B was the last giant steel beam left standing at the World Trade Center site before it, like the rest of the rubble from the Twin Towers, was hauled away. It had been part of a steel column that stretched from bedrock to the top of the South Tower. While it remained standing after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it became an impromptu memorial never meant to be an object of veneration. Firefighters spray-painted names of fallen comrades onto it, and rescue workers taped posters and photographs of the lost onto it. Yesterday, it was reinstalled at ground zero, where the National September 11 Memorial and Museum will have to be built around the 36-foot, 60-ton object. It’s currently wrapped in white plastic, but when the museum is readied you’ll be able to see all of the memorials in their raw glory.
Steel Column, a 9/11 Survivor, Returns to Ground Zero [City Room/NYT]