GIBSONBURG, Ohio - One of the largest artifacts from the World Trade Center is on display in the small village of Gibsonburg, Ohio.
It is a portion of the antenna from the North Tower — 7,000 lbs. and more than 35 feet tall. It is solid steel, streaked with rust. The antenna leans atop a replica of One World Trade Center inside a memorial at a Gibsonburg park, off of Main St.
Persistence is what brought the piece to the small town, population 2,600.
“Some people say ‘Why Gibsonburg?' We say, ‘Why not Gibsonburg?’” said village administrator Marc Glotzbecker. “The process was long, a lot of red tape, a lot of phone calls, a lot of emails. We moved mountains to show that we were serious about what we wanted to do.”
What the small village wanted to do was honor first responders in a big way.
When they learned that the Port Authority was distributing pieces of the Twin Towers to memorialize, they applied and found they were 150th on the list. That was back in 2014. They kept calling and were finally offered the antenna more than a year later.
They trucked it back to Gibsonburg on a flatbed trailer, draped in an American flag.
In less than a year, residents donated more than $100,000 to build the memorial the antenna is displayed in. The memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2016.
“It’s a special thing in a special town,” Glotzbecker added.
Through a program that ended last year, the Port Authority distributed more than 2,500 pieces of steel from the World Trade Center to cities, police and fire departments all over the United States and to countries all over the globe, including China, Russia, and Canada. The pieces were free — the only requirement was that they had to be placed on public display.