NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – There was a police escort Wednesday at Ground Zero for a van pulling a ten-foot-long section of steel from the World Trade Center.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell At Ground Zero

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The van was filled with eleven firefighters from Clear Lake, Iowa, which is more than 1,200 miles away from New York City.

“Bringing these artifacts to different locations around the country really allows people in the entire country…actually know what the people in New York felt,” Clear Lake fire chief Doug Meyers said.

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The steel will be used as part of a sculpture at the department’s new firehouse.

“Personally this is probably the most moving and emotional experience of my life,” said firefighter Billy Kreft. “To come out here and to be able to claim an artifact and bring it back to the Midwest brings this whole story to those people of the Midwest.”

Captain Dean Hess said it spoke to the bond between all firefighters.

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“To us, I think it’s a concrete connection with their experience and their sacrifice,” he said. “It’s something physical, something you can actually touch.