By Bob Hallmark KLTV
Longview, TX — Soon there will be a permanent memorial for those who served and lost their lives in the 9/11 attack, right here in East Texas. The memorial will include actual pieces of debris from ground zero.
The Longview Firefighters Association is making their vision become reality.
Two pieces of steel delivered to Longview are from the World Trade Center towers.
“This is the very first metal that would have been hit by the aircraft that day,” says Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary.
For firefighters, just the sight is a reminder of the 343 New York firefighters who died at Ground Zero on that dark day 13 years ago.
“I want to remember the sacrifice that everyone made. The firefighters, the police, the rescue personnel. I was devastated; my stomach was in knots. I was placing myself in the position of the firefighters on scene,” says Longview firefighter George Glenn.
“Our local firefighters association went through all the paperwork and ended up making a journey to New York City. Once they obtained permission, they were able to get two pieces,” Zackary says.
The pieces were escorted by Longview firefighters 1,500 miles from JFK International Airport to the Longview Fire Department’s training facility.
The 150-pound pieces were originally between window panes of the skyscrapers. They will fashioned into permanent memorials.
“We always want to remember the sacrifices that day and we have to be diligent and respond to whatever emergencies that may come our way. This represents a lot of loss, but out of loss comes hope.” says Zackary.
“I do not want their loss of life to be forgotten, ever,” Glenn says.
Fire officials hope to complete several memorials forged from the steel and debris that was pulled from the ruins of the World Trade Center by spring.