A rust-colored steel column recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center on 9/11 has a new home at CIA headquarters just outside the nation’s capital, the federal agency announced Tuesday.
The 9000-pound, 17-foot-long steel column was retrieved from World Trade Center Building Six, found between basement levels B-4 to B-6, and was likely near the Port Authority Trans-Hudson tube system. The New York City Port Authority gave the artifact to the CIA seven years ago — the smell of smoke still lingering on its surface.
The column was displayed inside the agency’s original headquarters building, before being relocated this year to its permanent location outside. The column now stands on a solemn memorial on CIA grounds, centered inside a circle of rounded river rocks, surrounded by muted gray, blue and brown flagstone pavers. At night, the column is bathed in soft yellow lights.
“Every year, the anniversary of 9/11 is a time for both reflection and renewal. It’s a time to remember not only the lives we lost, but also the resilience of the American people, the strength of our values, and our determination to stand up to terrorism,” said CIA Director Gina Haspel in a statement.
“Seventeen years later, we’re still taking the fight to the enemy with the same energy, focus, and commitment. We owe that not only to the victims, but to the loved ones they left behind — and to the country that will never forget them.
She also noted that the CIA placed “boots on the ground in Afghanistan” only 15 days after the 9/11 attacks.
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