Journey of the Beams
Wednesday, July 3 at 3 am on WFYI 1 Originally broadcast October 27, 2011
Photo courtesy of Steve Koger/ The Palladium-Item
Two steel beams were escorted in a procession across New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio by thousands of motorcyclists. Interstates were shut down while they passed. Word of mouth brought thousands more to bridges and overpasses to see them. Their destination and final resting place: Indianapolis.
For Greg Hess, a first responder from the Indianapolis Fire Department who arrived in New York City shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001, it was the first step of an obsessive mission. He had a vision: A memorial and public art sculpture made from two beams from the World Trade Center. Nearly 10 years after the buildings fell, Hess managed to convince the New York Port Authority to let him load two beams on a flatbed truck, covered with an American flag, and drive them to Indiana's capital.
There were, however, other challenges ahead, from fundraising to some local opposition to the project. But he was as undaunted, and the memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2011. This is the story of how it happened.