Two steel beams from the World Trade Center were delivered to the North Centerville Fire Co. on Middle Rd. in Hazlet Wednesday, as part of the first steps to build a monument honoring victims of Sept. 11.
The four-foot long anterior support beams, which weigh about 200 pounds each, were picked up 10 a.m. Wednesday at JFK Airport in Queens and escorted down the Garden State Parkway.
About 25 bystanders, some with cameras, had advance word and lined up along Route 36 outside Holy Family Parish and School to see the motorcade pass by. A Keansburg Fire Dept. truck had an American flag hanging over the highway.
The beams arrived in Hazlet at approximately 1:30 p.m., where former North Centerville Fire Chief Les Parleman delivered a speech.
“We can’t forget this,” Parleman said in front of a group of about 50 people. “We can’t forget all the emergency servicemen who were in those buildings who lost their lives. We can’t forget all the civilians who were up there and lost their lives.”
The North Centerville Fire Co. plans to have a memorial in plain view outside its building.
West Keansburg Fire Official John Beslanovitz, who is an associate for the North Centerville and Hazlet departments, organized the acquisition of the steel beams for the memorial.
“I checked with the Highlands [fire department] about the piece of steel they received and got their contact in the Port Authority,” Beslanovitz said. “At first, they wanted to give us a 19 by 24 inch and a half thick piece of steel. But then [North Centerville Fire Captain] Joe Sarro explained to them about his cousin.”
Sarro’s cousin, Dennis Po’Berg, was a firefighter for Ladder 105 in Brooklyn who died on Sept. 11 after responding to the attacks.
“I explained that my cousin was a firefighter who died up there. That me, [Beslanovitz], and others went up to the pile to help dig up and look for survivors, and we went to multiple funerals,” said Sarro. “Once I explained to the woman at the Port Authority about that she gave us these two pieces.”
Beslanovitz said that they waited six months for the beams to come to Hazlet, a town that lost 12 citizens in the attacks.
“In two weeks it will be the 11th anniversary, and for those 11 years we now have two pieces,” Sarro said.
Hazlet plans to hold a memorial service on the evening of Sept. 11, but Municipal Administrator Brian Valentino could not immediately confirm where the memorial service will take place.