ELLSWORTH, Maine — Firefighters, police officers and emergency medical personnel from dozens of Maine communities will mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by escorting a steel beam from the World Trade Center through the streets of Ellsworth.
The steel I-beam arrived in the city last month, roughly two years after the Ellsworth Fire Department began the lengthy process of acquiring it for a planned memorial to the victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. It is currently being stored in preparation for the Sept. 11 service.
Beginning at 2 p.m. Sept. 11, the Ellsworth Fire Department will lead a procession of emergency response vehicles from Superior Docks on Christian Ridge Road to the fire station, located in the lower level of City Hall. The procession is expected to travel to City Hall through Bangor Road, State Street, Oak Street, Main Street and Franklin Street
A public memorial service will then be held at the station.
Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper said about 35 agencies from around the state responded to an earlier invitation to help escort the beam during a July event that had to be postponed because of delays transporting the steel from New York to Maine. Tupper said he expects that there will be significant interest in the Sept. 11 event.
“I do expect a large turnout being that it is the 10th anniversary,” Tupper said.
The beam salvaged from the World Trade Center site in New York measures 6½ feet long and is roughly 400 pounds. Tupper said the beam is bent and twisted, attesting to the force exerted on the steel when the towers fell. Although the beam still bears an inventory number, it is unclear where it was originally located.
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has been making beams available to communities across the nation on the condition that they be put on public display as part of a memorial.
Several fire departments in Maine, including Brewer and Auburn, have already received pieces of the twin towers for memorials. Ric Newman of Superior Welding & Fabrication in Ellsworth transported the beam from New York to Maine for the Ellsworth Fire Department.
Tupper said his department has yet to decide on how the beam will be displayed permanently. After the service on Sept. 11, the beam will be kept inside the station but will be available for the public to see.