NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A dedication ceremony was held at Newark Liberty Airport Wednesday for piece of a steel beam from the World Trade Center.

Transportation Security Administration Agent Adam Hamrick said he drove the van to pick up the 470-pound piece of steel beam from an airplane hangar at Kennedy Airport, where debris recovered from the attacks is held.

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“The van smelled like pure burned metal the entire time,” he told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

Hamrick said the smell made about as lasting an impression on him as the day itself.

“On the day of 9/11, I was in high school on 16th Street in Manhattan and sure enough I heard the planes hit,” he said. “It was a tough day getting home from school that day.”

TSA Agent Sal Caponnetto and another agent are building the base to hold the beam.

He said it was the least they could do.

“I lost friends in the Trade Center,” Caponnetto said.

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New Jersey Federal Security Director Thomas Carter said the beam and wooden base will eventually be at the Terminal B office at the airport.

“To me, what it represents is why we’re here,” Carter said. ” It gives that source of inspiration and motivation.”

In Kennedy Airport’s Hangar 17, fewer than 30 pieces of steel remain from the debris recovered after terrorists flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center’s twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Even 14 years after the attacks, applications are still pending for the pieces of metal — mostly for memorials and museum exhibits — and some pieces found a new home as recently as last week in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Florida.

Beginning in August 1968, builders used 200,000 tons of steel to build the World Trade Center complex, enough to raise the twin towers to heights of 1,362 feet (south tower) and 1,368 feet (north tower). Out of 1.8 million tons of debris removed from the site after the attacks, recovery workers collected 840 pieces of steel, some of which were cut up to make a total of 2,200 separate items. They ranged from 6-inch slabs to massive beams to the 7.5 tons the Navy used in the construction of the warship USS New York.

The artifacts can be found anchoring memorials or museum exhibits in all 50 states and eight countries: Germany, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, The United Kingdom, Afghanistan, China and Ireland.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey oversees the artifact program, reviewing applications and parceling out the steel and other items to about 1,500 individual nonprofit groups, governments or museums so far. The artifact must be available for the public to view it.

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