Residents gathered at the Price Peace Gardens Thursday evening to catch a glimpse at a piece of history. A large slab of slurry wall from the World Trade Center was on display for the public to view. The artifact is on its way to the Fort Douglas Military Museum in Salt Lake City where it will become part of the Fallen Warrior Memorial.
By Sara Price
After the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001, many things changed. Patriotism soared, wars began and the nation mourned with the families of those who were claimed that day.
There have been numerous debates over what should be done with the piece of ground the World Trade Center was housed on. Before any plans could be made, engineers had to determine what to do with the slurry wall that stretched seven stories underground. Essentially serving as an underground dam, it was built 45 years ago to hold back the Hudson River, preventing it from seeping into the World Trade Center. The wall was 48 inches thick, composed of cured concrete, aggregate rock and steel rebar.
After the Sept. 11 attack, engineers worried that the slurry wall had cracked and would no longer be able to support the weight of the water behind it. After digging down, they discovered that the wall was still fully intact. However, restoration of the World Trade Center site required a portion of the slurry wall be cut to accommodate new rail lines.
The contractor in charge of removing the wall felt that he should keep the pieces rather than haul them to a dump site. He kept pieces for three years until he found an artist who specialized in concrete art. The artist turned the 11 pieces into monuments, which were then distributed around the United States.
The Fallen Warrior Memorial group heard about the project and began raising funds, materials and securing labor to bring one of the art pieces to Utah. It was named “UT 6 and ALL.” The piece weighs approximately 9000 pounds and is 60” x 62” x 48”. It has been sanded, sculpted and polished and will arrive at its final resting place on Oct. 21 at the Fort Douglas Military Museum and Memorial on the University of Utah Campus in Salt Lake City.
The monument has passed through 11 states and has stopped at several cities throughout Utah, giving citizens and those who have served a chance to see it before it reaches its destination. On Oct. 3, bikers, police officers and firefighters escorted the memorial from Moab to Price, creating a quarter mile procession line.
Once in Price, citizens were able to examine the slab of concrete wall. Military memorabilia including a tank and Jeep accompanied the World Trade Center piece. A large crane from Mountain Crane Company hoisted a large flat at the Price City ceremony as well.
Utah’s Fallen Warrior chair person, Raette Belcher was given the keys to Price City in honor of her dedication and hard work involved in bringing the memorial from Florida to Utah.
Members of the Fallen Warrior Project thanked all the donors who made the event possible. They also asked that anyone knows of a Utah soldier that has fallen since the Gulf War who may not have been recognized through the organization, contact them at https://www.utahsfallenwarriors.com/.