Afghanistan — World Trade Center I-beam Unveiled at Bagram

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan , May 31, 2010 — More than 200 multi­na­tion­al troops con­verged in front of the Region­al Com­mand East com­mand build­ing here to see an I-beam seg­ment from the World Trade Cen­ter unveiled dur­ing a Memo­r­i­al Day cer­e­mo­ny today.

International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan
Army Gen. Stan­ley McChrys­tal, com­man­der of NATO’s Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force in Afghanistan, and Army Maj. Gen. Cur­tis M. Scaparrot­ti, com­man­der of Com­bined Joint Task Force 82, com­mem­o­rate the unveil­ing of a 9-foot seg­ment of an I-beam that once was part of the World Trade Cen­ter. The unveil­ing of the beam was part of the Memo­r­i­al Day cer­e­mo­ny at the Region­al Com­mand East com­mand build­ing at Bagram Air­field, Afghanistan, May 31, 2010.
U.S. Army pho­to by Sgt. Spencer J. Case
Click to enlarge

Army Gen. Stan­ley McChrys­tal, com­man­der of NATO’s Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force in Afghanistan, and Army Maj. Gen. Cur­tis M. Scaparrot­ti, com­man­der of Com­bined Joint Task Force 82, also attend­ed the event.

“Today is about peo­ple,” McChrys­tal said in his keynote address. “It’s about peo­ple who we have lost through­out the years and, I think just as impor­tant­ly, it is about peo­ple they have left behind.”

McChrys­tal empha­sized the beam’s sym­bol­ism. Once it pro­vid­ed struc­ture to a build­ing so that life could be lived inside of it. Now, in front of the Region­al Com­mand East head­quar­ters, it would con­tin­ue to pro­vide struc­ture in the mind­set of troops.

Fol­low­ing McChrystal’s speech, troops applaud­ed as Scaparrot­ti and Army Com­mand Sgt. Maj. Thomas R. Capel, task force com­mand sergeant major, removed the tarp that cov­ered the 9-foot, 950-pound beam seg­ment.

Res­i­dents of Breezy Point, N.Y., donat­ed the beam through an orga­ni­za­tion called Sons and Daugh­ters of Amer­i­ca, Breezy Point. The city of New York had giv­en a num­ber of beams to the res­i­dents of Breezy Point after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed near­ly 30 res­i­dents from the small neigh­bour­hood in Queens.

After the com­mu­ni­ty con­struct­ed a memo­r­i­al from the beams, Sons and Daugh­ters donat­ed three beams to the U.S. mil­i­tary. One is at the recent­ly opened Infantry Muse­um at Fort Ben­ning, Ga., and the oth­er is aboard the air­craft car­ri­er USS Nimitz.

The third beam arrived here in March, based large­ly on the efforts of recent­ly rede­ployed Army Maj. Stephen J. Ryan, a gov­er­nance plan­ner for Com­bined Joint Task Force 82 who hails from Breezy Point.

As a trib­ute to its arrival March 31, sol­diers of the 612th Quar­ter Mas­ter Detach­ment sling-loaded the beam along with a U.S. flag from a CH-47 Chi­nook heli­copter and flew around the instal­la­tion with the beam and flag dis­played,.

In accor­dance with the wish­es of Sons and Daugh­ters, the beam will remain on loan to suc­ces­sive units in RC East until the last Amer­i­can troops with­draw from Afghanistan. The beam will then be sent to Fort Bragg, N.C.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)