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NJ Firefighters Get WTC Beams For 9/11 Memorial

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Friday was a day the firefighters from Tinton Halls, New Jersey won’t forget. They finally got to touch two beams from the World Trade Center, given to them for a memorial at their firehouse. (Credit: CBS 2)

Friday was a day the firefighters from Tinton Halls, New Jersey won’t forget. They finally got to touch two beams from the World Trade Center, given to them for a memorial at their firehouse. (Credit: CBS 2)

Christine Sloan thumbnail Christine Sloan
Emmy-award winning journalist Christine Sloan joined CBS 2 News in...
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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Hanger 17 at John F. Kennedy Airport holds everything that remains from the World Trade Center.

Towns from around the country and the world request pieces of the towers, as a way to make sure they never forget that fateful day, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

CBS 2’s Christine Sloan went along with a New Jersey fire department that’s been waiting for its piece of history.

Friday was a day the firefighters from Tinton Halls, New Jersey won’t forget. They finally got to touch two beams from the World Trade Center, given to them for a memorial at their firehouse.

They’d been waiting for the moment for two years.

“Preserve it at least in our area, in Monmouth County, so people won’t forget what has happened and what could happen at any given time,” Tinton Falls Fire Department Captain Dave Ciani said.

The beams, draped with the American flag at John F. Kennedy Airport and weighing 2,400 tons each, will replace the firehouse’s wooden memorial.

For Charles Bell, it’s particularly emotional – his wife survived the attacks on September 11.

“She was in Tower One, and she got out,” he said.

The beams were picked up at Hanger 17, where all of the remaining pieces of the World Trade Center are stored. Firefighters had a chance to get a glimpse of what’s inside the building.

“It’s just breathtaking. You just walk through there and you can just feel it,” firefighter Aaron Lay said. “I think all the pieces speak to you, and you really get a sense of what happened that day, and how our country felt.”

“There’s one section in there that we get to walk by, where they have vehicles like the ones we ride in, and they were dragged underground or crushed by things,” Tinton Falls Fire Chaplain Brendan Tobin said. “There were people in there. They were our brothers and sisters”

That’s why, the firefighters said, the pieces are so sacred: they symbolize the ultimate sacrifice made by those who lost their lives. Now, they’ll be party of their firehouse memorial.

The beams will be stored in containers in Tinton Falls until they start building the memorial in the spring. The goal is to have it completed by Sept. 11, 2011.

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