8/26/2004 12:00 AM
The Museum at the George Bush Presidential Library will unveil a section of steel from the World Trade Center towers donated by the Texas Engineering Extension Service’s elite urban search and rescue team Texas Task Force 1 on Sept. 11 as part of the new exhibit Commemorating September 11th.
As the world stood in shock from the devastating terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C., members of College Station-based Texas Task Force 1 prepared for deployment to New York City. Commemorating September 11th showcases photographs, artifacts and personal effects from the state’s renowned urban search and rescue team. The centerpiece of this exhibit is a section of a steel structural beam, weighing in excess of 2,000 pounds, from the World Trade Center towers. Visitors to the exhibit will have the opportunity to actually touch this massive piece of history.
According to Dr. Douglas Menarchik, Director of the Bush Library, “A very important piece of history has arrived in the Brazos Valley, a steel beam from the World Trade Center that was destroyed in the terrorist attack on New York City, America, and the world, on September 11, 2001. Through the great efforts of Texas Task Force 1, visitors to the Bush Museum will be able to experience this powerful piece of modern history, and be able to come to the museum to see it, touch it, and remember.”
The World Trade Center steel, and the history behind it, will be exhibited at the Bush Museum through Nov. 14. The exhibit opening will be part of a special ceremony open to the public on the morning of Sept. 11. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and the ceremony will begin at exactly 9 a.m. Members of Texas Task Force 1 will be in attendance.
Seventy-two members of Texas Task Force 1’s 210 emergency responders from throughout the state deployed to Ground Zero on Sept. 17, 2001, and spent the next seven days working 12-hour shifts at the World Trade Center site. Texas Task Force 1 is one of 28 national urban search and rescue teams under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and one of only six teams designated to respond to weapons of mass destruction events.
“Our deployment to assist in the search and recovery efforts at Ground Zero was one of the most technically advanced and emotionally challenging missions our team has experienced,” said Dr. G. Kemble Bennett, founder and Texas Task Force 1 Team Leader. “The task force is well trained and prepared to serve and the contributions of these outstanding men and women should make Texas, and indeed the nation, proud.”
The Texas Engineering Extension Service, a member of The Texas A&M University System, serves as the sponsoring agency for Texas Task Force 1. The team is trained and equipped to respond to any manmade or natural disaster, including floods, hurricanes and tornadoes.
The Museum at the George Bush Presidential Library hours are Monday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. Museum admission is $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens 62 and groups of 20 or more with reservations. Children 6 and older are $2. TAMU and Blinn college students as well as children under 6 are free.