When Woodstock City Manager Jeff Moon learned that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was distributing artifacts salvaged from Ground Zero, Mayor Donnie Henriques requested Woodstock be considered. His request was granted, and Woodstock received two 12-foot sections of subway track from the subway center located beneath the World Trade Center. Public works supervisor Greg Roach and equipment operator Charlie Andrew drove to New York to retrieve these special artifacts in early September, and the rails were incorporated into a memorial in The Park at City Center. Greg shares his feelings about being asked to make that journey.
9/11 Artifacts Find New Home in Woodstock
By Greg Roach
When I was asked to go pick up the tracks from Hangar 17, from the World Trade Center, it was a huge honor to be chosen. I went home and researched Hangar 17. The fact that four 747 aircraft can fit into the hangar, and that the items inside only accounted for 1 percent of the rubble from the towers, put things in a little more perspective. The city selected two of us to go pick them up. Charlie and I set out on our 14-hour drive. We took turns driving until we reached JFK International Airport.
We arranged our pick-up the next morning. When we arrived, there were others there to pick up artifacts from many different places. We all talked and exchanged stories about the ride there and the artifacts we were receiving. As we passed through the gates, I saw the NYC fire trucks and all the men in uniform. My heart was heavy with thoughts from that September day. While standing there, you think of where you were on that day, and all the lives that were changed.
As they brought the artifacts out, a bagpiper began to play. I instantly got chills and goosebumps. There were a lot of emotions when the artifacts were brought out. I watched as each artifact was carefully loaded, ready for its next destination where others could view it. Then it was our turn. The pieces were brought out and set on the truck. After they were loaded and our cargo secured, the NYC firefighters came over to thank us. They gave us each a small piece of the tower to take home with us as a reminder of the trip. We talked and made good friends with everyone there. We all had our own little story to tell. It was an amazing experience and an honor to be a part of. I thank the City of Woodstock for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime experience.