World Trade Center beam dedicated to EMS workers killed on 9/11 sits in garage as memorial seeks funding

KEANSBURG N.J. -- A 5-foot long, 380-pound steel beam from one of the most tragic days in U.S. history now sits beneath a tarp in an EMS volunteer’s garage.

"You saw all the ambulances that were burnt and crushed and I would assume there were people in there," Paul Kennedy said as he stood beside the piece of twisted metal.

Kennedy serves with the Middletown First Aid and Rescue Squad and he volunteered to store the beam from the World Trade Center until enough money is raised to build a memorial.

Kennedy said the World Trade Center beam was brought to his garage after the EMS Council broke ground on the planned site last year. Keansburg has dedicated a plot of land off of Ocean Avenue, near the borough's beachfront.

"Keansburg is one of the only free beaches left in New Jersey and you can see the New York skyline from where it is," said Cliff Moore, economic community development coordinator for Keansburg. "So where this memorial is going to be placed, you can actually stand at the memorial and you will actually visualize where the original towers stood."

The plan is to build two stone towers bearing the names of the 55 EMS and two service dogs killed in the 2001 terror attacks.

"Some of our EMS providers went into New York when this happened to go with our ambulances and response vehicles and some just never came back," said Joe Walsh, president of the EMS Council, which represents over 20,000 New Jersey EMS volunteers.

Walsh said his goal is to unveil a finished memorial by this time next year.

"I hope people out there see this as not another memorial but as a reflection of the hard work, dedication and the sacrifices that our EMS first responders made on 9/11," Walsh said.

As of Monday, the day before the 17th anniversary of the terror attacks, about $17,000 have been raised by the EMS Council to build the memorial. But they said they need about $100,000 to make it a reality. In an effort to come up with the rest of the money, a GoFundMe has been started.

The New Jersey EMS Council is asking for donations by mail, as well.

Donations can be made out to:

9-11 EMS Memorial - NJSFAC, P.O. Box 347, Pittstown, N.J. 08867