Following the attack on the World Trade Center towers there are certain images that will always be remembered.
The planes crashing into the towers is one, but the ruins left after the collapse of the buildings is another. The twisted steel beams and rubble in the street will always be a lasting image.
Pieces of the steel from the buildings were made available to communities and fire departments around the world. Luckily, one made its way to our region Tuesday.
It's Patriots' Day in Marion, Virginia. A large American flag flies high above the volunteer fire department from their ladder truck.
In the back parking lot is a single piece of steel on a trailer -- a piece of steel that came down with the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.
It came to Marion just by a chance application. "It was an opportunity for communities and fire departments to put in an application for World Trade Center steel as an artifact to do a permanent memorial. I wrote the application, sent it and didn't think much about it," Ken Heath, Main Street coordinator and volunteer fireman said.
Six years and a lot of emails back and forth, and Marion was awarded this piece of steel as a remembrance. "We spent about a week in New York City this time last year. We went around and visited fire halls and police precincts, told our story, heard their stories and got to share the brotherhood that exists in the fire departments and police departments," Heath said.
The WTC steel has become the centerpiece of an annual Patriots' Day ceremony observed in the town each September 11. "I'm really pleased that we're continuing to have this Patriots' Day program. It's in remembrance of those people who lost their life that day but its also a time to say thank you to the ones who are doing this, I guess unappreciated by a lot of people, the work that they do," Mayor David Helams said.
Designs for a permanent memorial centered around the piece of steel are being studied so that it may be shared and remembered by everyone.