MLT say it will no longer seek part of World Trade Center beam

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The World Trade Center beam shortly after it arrived in Edmonds last year. (Photo by Bryan Briscoe)

By Doug Petrowski

The City of Mountlake Terrace is withdrawing its request for a part of an 8-foot steel beam recovered from the fallen World Trade Center in New York after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Mountlake Terrace Mayor Jerry Smith announced the city’s change of heart concerning the steel beam at Monday’s City Council meeting.

The steel beam is in the possession of Snohomish County Fire District 1. District commissioners have been considering options for the beam’s use after receiving letters of interest from the Cities of Mountlake and Edmonds. Each city had tentative plans for making the beam, or a part of it, the centerpiece of memorials honoring firefighters killed in the line of duty.

“We’re not going to split the beam,” Mayor Smith said. “We’re going to let everyone settle down and let Edmonds have it.”

Some local firefighters had expressed opposition to a Fire District 1 proposal to split the beam and allow each city to have half of it.
Smith, along with Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore and Councilmember Doug McCardle, met with representatives from Local 1828 of the International Association of Firefighters recently when the subject of the steel beam came up.

“I didn’t understand at first,” Sonmore said, “but after talking to the union rep, he said, ‘it’s a tomb.’ They see it in a completely different way.”

The announcement seems to clear the way for Fire District 1 commissioners to approve a plan for Edmonds to take possession of the beam and place it in Fallen Firefighter Memorial Park next to Fire Station 17 on 6th Avenue North in downtown Edmonds.

Smith hasn’t given up on the idea of using something recovered from Ground Zero in a Mountlake Terrace memorial. “We’ll take any memorabilia,” Smith said, adding that the firefighters union has agreed to help in the effort.

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