Dozens of veterans driving motorcycles are escorting a piece of a steel beam salvaged from the World Trade Center through the Maritimes Friday.
The piece of steel is from the south tower, which fell after the terror attacks on 9/11.
John Pontee is tasked with hauling the beam, collected from the piles of rubble, almost 1,500 kilometers from New York to Gander, Newfoundland where he is expected to arrive on Sunday for the 15th anniversary of the attacks.
“To be chosen to take the steel across the country and into another country is an amazing feeling to me,” Pontee said.
The beam is a token of appreciation to residents who helped house and feed close to 7,000 passengers whose planes were diverted to the Gander International Airport after the U.S. shut down air space following the attacks.
“The goodness that that community showed was incredible, and to give them this piece of steel, I think, is just amazing considering what it represents,” Pontee said.
Pontee says is it also an honour to have the delivery escorted by a convoy of motorcyclists from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, many of whom are veterans like himself and former firefighters.
He equates the piece of steel to a large thank you card to the people of Gander, who opened their doors and their hearts to the many stranded and shocked people.