Story by Rick Couri found on

It sits there on a pedestal, close enough to touch. A piece of twisted metal covered with rust, and a story. That story is one for the ages, and one we won’t ever forget. Washington Irving Park in Bixby, Oklahoma is the final resting place for a part of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. How the steel I-beam got here is a fascinating story.

It all starts with a man named Bill Pittman. Bill is well known in Bixby as a man who cares about his city and one who can get things done. He came up with the idea to ask for a piece of the wreckage and the Friends of Irving Foundation agreed. I met Walter Gund at the site of the memorial to get the scoop. Walter is the vice president of the foundation, and he was more than happy to help out.

Walter told me that Bill Pittman got the ball rolling by calling the office of Kathy Keating, the wife of then Governor Frank Keating. “They made arrangements and we were told where to call, and this went on for six, seven, eight months” Walter told me. When the group finally heard back from New York, the message was a little shocking. “They said, we have your I-beam, but you have to pick it up this Friday.”

The foundation…

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