Piece of 9/11 history on display in Louisville


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on September 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 11 at 5:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- As we all take a moment to remember the victims of 9/11, locals have a place where they not only remember, but touch a piece of the World Trade Center beam,  not far from downtown.

A park at 12th and Main is the only place in Louisville with a piece of the World Trade Center steel.
"Some people want to touch it to feel that connection and maybe bring some closure for some people that weren't able to make the trip to New York," said  Dana Bibb, Truck Operations Manager Mercer Transportation
The piece of twisted steel was given to a Louisville company, Mercer Transportation.

"We had 25 drivers that volunteered their time, their equipment to go in and haul that steel from Maryland to Hangar 11 at JFK. They did not want any money to do it. They polished their trucks. They dressed them with flags," said Bibb about the day of the load.
Shortly after 9/11, Mercer Transportation in the city's west end was asked to take part in a high security trip. They hauled 25 loads of 65 tons of World Trade Center steel from Maryland to JFK.  It was a convoy that local drivers will never forget.
"Each and everyone told us that they would have not missed that opportunity for anything . That, that meant more to them in their trucking career than anything that they have ever done...One of the driver's dusted the rust off of her trailer and kept it in a jar because it was so precious to her for what she was able to do." said Bibb.
Driver Darwin Bratcher was not in that convoy but was transporting televisions on the Bronx Queens highway when he watched the second plane fly into the World Trade Tower.

"It was a cowardly act of terror on American soil and so many people had to die. It just gives me the jitters," said Bratcher.
Like so many, he can walk into the quiet park in Louisville and look in amazement at the piece of twisted steel and remember a moment we will all never forget.
"I have had my parents say that they have had things that stick with them in history. This is one that sticks with me. And since we had a special involvement, it will always have a special place," said Bibb.
The park with the trade center steel is open to the public located at 12th and Main.