HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Two artifacts from the World Trade Center towers that will be on permament exhibit at Southern Miss were, for a short time Saturday, the centerpiece of a temporary display in downtown Hattiesburg. Two steel pieces from the twin towers, each weighing more than 200 pounds, were on exhibit at Fire Station Number One.
They were given to Southern Miss through a program administered by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Eventually, they'll be exhibited in a 9/11 memorial at U.S.M., sponsored by the school's National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security.
"It's part of a program called 'Twisted Steel,' and that program donates these pieces to entities that will promise then to incorporate them into public memorials," said Chief David Webster, of the Hattiesburg Fire Department. "They're not meant for private collections, they're meant to be displayed where people can see them and be part of them," Webster said.
"Our goal after today is to begin Phase II and that is to look at making a decision on location of the memorial, then we have a $2 million endowment campaign that we'll start to raise the funds for the design and construction of the memorial," said Lou Marciani, director of U.S.M.'s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security.
The City of Hattiesburg requested the artifacts in 2009 on behalf of Southern Miss.