20 years ago on May 28th, 2002
Workers cut down the final piece of steel at Ground Zero, ending the clean-up effort after the September 11th attacks
In an evening ceremony, workers marched behind drummers and bagpipe players into the pit left from the towers. Members of multiple trade unions shared a blowtorch and each cut away at the final 58-ton piece of the south tower, which would be taken away on a flatbed truck in the morning. The steel was signed by hundreds of workers and painted with the numbers of civilians and emergency responders from each department who were lost in the attack, and was wrapped in black fabric as it was transported away from the site. The beam went to an airplane hangar at JFK Airport and underwent a historical preservation process and was transported back to the site seven years later. The beam now stands in the main hall of the September 11th Museum.