During the clean up of Ground Zero, 700 million pounds of steel were removed. Some pieces were shipped, like relics, to be used in memorials all over the country. One piece — measuring about 17 inches wide, 43 inches tall, and an inch thick — ended up in Tampa, Florida.
Dominique Martinez is using it as part of his design for a memorial for the Firefighters Museum there. It will be surrounded by 56 polished steel spires that form wishbone framework reminiscent of the Twin Towers.
Before he was a sculptor, Martinez was a volunteer firefighter and art appraiser living in New York. Although he wasn’t in New York City on September 11, he feels a deep connection to the events there. “This is a piece of history that we’re touching,” he says of the rusted steel beam. “This is a piece of history that we’re handling. This is a piece of history that we’re creating."
Slideshow: A Memorial Under Construction