Steel Fragment, Recovered
Accession Number: C.2011.179.131
Dimensions: 16.3 ft X 8.5833 ft
Dimensions (Metric): 41.402 cm X 21.801582 cm
Credit Line: Recovered from the World Trade Center site after September 11, 2001
Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum, Courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York City Building Construction and Trades Council
Recovered steel beams forming a cross with attached aluminum cladding on the right crossbeam.
This intersecting steel column and crossbeam was found in the rubble of 6 World Trade Center on September 13, 2001. On entering the area with members of a search and rescue team, construction worker Frank Silecchia saw this 17-foot-tall column, its horizontal arm draped with a piece of galvanized steel, standing in a field of debris. Moved by the spiritual presence he felt, Silecchia brought the cross-shaped steel to the attention of other workers and members of the clergy.
Perceived as a religious cross by many who saw it, the steel fragment was relocated to the edge of the site near West Street on October 3, 2001, increasing its visibility and accessibility to workers and victims’ family members. The next day, hundreds working on the recovery attended a ceremonial blessing of the cross by Father Brian Jordan, a Franciscan priest ministering to the Ground Zero community. Individuals of many faiths and belief systems at the site and around the world saw the cross as a symbol of hope, faith, and healing.