NASCAR Displays Piece of World Trade Center Outside of Richmond Raceway

by Jennifer Shea
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Thanks to NASCAR, a fragment of steel from the World Trade Center, destroyed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, now sits outside Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia.

The steel, weighing 1,100 pounds, is from World Trade Center Tower 1. That particular piece was over 90 stories up on the skyscraper, according to WRIC.

“#NeverForget911,” NASCAR tweeted Saturday.

NASCAR Brings in Steel for Memorial Ceremony

Along with NASCAR, the Freedom Flag Foundation and Cranemasters helped to bring the piece of steel to Richmond. It will remain at the Raceway through the weekend.

On Thursday afternoon, the Raceway joined forces with Henrico County to host a 9/11 memorial ceremony, during which the salvaged steel was driven onto the Raceway beneath a huge flag held aloft by fire trucks.

The Freedom Flag honors first responders and military service members who died in the line of duty. Drawn on a napkin by Richard Melito, a Richmond business owner, it also serves as a remembrance of the attacks.

Also joining in the memorial ceremony was the Henrico County Public Safety Honor Guard.

Local Officials Honor Those Lost on 9/11

NASCAR paid tribute to 9/11 victims on social media. Meanwhile, local officials spoke about what the attacks meant to them, at the time and over the years since.

Henrico County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Schmitt was one of many Americans for whom the attacks hit close to home. His father- and brother-in-law worked in and near the World Trade Center. Through sheer luck, they were not there when the towers collapsed.

“These moments in time, they leave permanent fingerprints upon our nation’s history,” Schmitt said.

Other local officials offered their own memories of the horrific moments after the attacks that Tuesday morning.

“These evil acts claimed, and let us never forget, nearly 3,000 innocent lives, and shook our country and our world deeply and profoundly,” said County Manager John Vithoulkas, WWBT reports.

Local fire officials also paid tribute to their brothers and sisters who raced toward the towers after the planes hit, as well as to all the other innocent lives lost that day.

“Honor all of the fallen brothers and sisters, both fire, police, Port Authority and the civilians that died in 9/11, and the sacrifices that we made as a country since then,” Assistant Fire Chief Jackson Baynard said.

The Freedom Flag Foundation’s John Riley explained that the salvaged piece of steel belongs to his organization. They cart it around and display it for educational purposes.

“That’s our commitment. That’s what it’s really for – to remind the nation what happened on 9/11,” Riley said.