WTC Medallions Anger Relatives

The Associated Press
January 30, 2002

NEW YORK -- Some relatives of Sept. 11 victims are angry that a Georgia company is selling commemorative medallions made with steel from the World Trade Center.

"This is ghoulish,'' Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son, Christian, was killed, told the Daily News. "This is so inappropriate. I'm disgusted.''

The medallions are forged from an alloy, 25 percent of which is recycled trade center steel. They are offered on the Internet and at collectible stores for $29.95.

About 60,000 tons of steel from the trade center have been cut into manageable pieces and shipped to recyclers around the world.

International Agile Manufacturing, a foundry in Statesboro, Ga., purchased the steel from a New Jersey salvage yard.

"We are not trying to offend anyone,'' said Alfonzo Hall, the company's president and chief executive officer.

Hall said International Agile lost 40 percent of its business after the attack and hopes to avoid layoffs by selling the medallions. So far, 10,000 of the medallions -- which feature a flag waving behind the twin towers -- have been sold, Hall said.

"Would it be better to see the steel overseas and see it in a soup can or the fender of a car?'' he asked.

The company's says a portion of the proceeds will be given to charities in New York City and around the country.

The company also pledged to set aside 5,000 to 10,000 medallions for victims' families at no charge.

"I don't want one,'' said Michael Cartier, co-founder of Give Your Voice, a victims' families group. "There is going to be a large number of people never found because their bodies were pulverized. In all probability, their bodies could be with the steel in those medallions. Where would you display that?''


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