MARION, Va. - Community members in Southwest Virginia joined people across the nation to remember the September 11 terrorist attacks.
In Marion, Virginia they dedicated a piece of the World Trade Center outside the fire department.
The theme of Wednesday's dedication ceremony was "we remember." Everyone at the ceremony young and old said it together to make sure nobody forgets the lives lost and the sacrifice of so many.
Some people at the ceremony were at the center of the 9/11 attacks. "You'll never forget the smell, the feel, and the emotions. I don't think it'll go away. It's like it was yesterday," says Jason Berry.
Berry is now the Washington County, Virginia Administrator, but on September 11, 2001, he worked in the Pentagon. "It's gratifying to know people not in New York, Pennsylvania, or Virginia know what people went through, what we went through," adds Berry.
Berry says the large turnout in Marion is proof people will always remembered what happen. The town is hoping a piece of steel from the World Trade Center will keep the history alive. "Parents bring the kids down and explain the history behind this," says Marion mayor David Helms.
They received the piece of steel after a firefighter wrote a letter explaining why they wanted a piece of the World Trade Center for their memorial garden outside the fire department. "[It's a] 14-foot long, four-ton piece of steel. We were just humbled and amazed they picked Marion, Virginia for that to come to," says Marion Fire Department vice president Ken Heath.
For Jason Berry, who saw the devastation firsthand 12 years ago, he wants all Americans to remember the unity our nation had in the days following the attacks. "Americans really had a change of heart. Even if you were total strangers it would be nice if we could go back to those days but on good terms," adds Berry.
We learned the Town of Marion is working on a second phase for the memorial garden. That will be two lights shining up in the sky to look like the Twin Towers.
The fire department tells us they hope to have it completed by next year.