On a Tuesday in Cranberry, the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Twin Towers rose again.
Placed atop two granite slabs shaped like the World Trade Center buildings, and situated north and south—just as they were in New York City—was an 832-pound piece of twisted steel that fell from one of the towers on Sept. 11.
Hundreds of people were there to salute it.
“It’s a great way to honor those who’ve passed,” said Jeff Schueler, Cranberry’s public safety director.
Just in time for Patriot Day, the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company held a formal dedication Tuesday for its 9/11 Memorial. Area residents, local officials and the township’s first responders all attended the event.
Speaking to the crowd, Jeff Berneburg, chairman of the fire company’s 9/11 committee, said the monument was dedicated to everyone who lost their lives on Sept. 11, including the 343 first responders to the World Trade Centers.
“We will never forget,” he said.
Tuesday’s unveiling capped a three years process that started when Berneburg began to fill out the paperwork for the fire company to receive a Ground Zero artifact from New York City.
In April 2011, he, fire company President Bruce Hezlep, and Hezlep’s young son, Nathan, made the seven hour trip to the John F. Kennedy airport hanger—where the Ground Zero remnants are stored—to pick up the steel and haul it from New York back to Cranberry.
Cranberry officials, including first responders, broke ground on the project on Sept. 11, 2011.
On Tuesday, Hezlep thanked those in attendance who could remember the attacks—and those who were too young to remember.
It is for the younger generation that Hezlep said the company included a memorial stone in the project outlining the day’s event.
“We thank you for being here to learn about this,” he said, adding he hopes there will never be an occasion again in America’s future where they will have to gather at they did Tuesday.
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