People around the country remember the events and those lost on September 11, 2001. Images of the falling twin towers will forever be in our minds but now, there’s a new image. A piece of steel from the World Trade Center will be on display in KOTA Territory to remind us of the sacrifice of so many on that tragic day.
“I was on duty and working at fire station one downtown riding an engine and a firefighter got on the PA and said everyone needs to get into the office immediately,” said Rapid City Fire Chief Mike Maltaverne.
“I got down to Ground Zero well after the buildings had collapsed and I just won’t forget it; the chaos, the confusion,” Larry Connors, a Retired New York Fire Battalion Chief said.
“People were covered in dust, they were walking around in awe but everyone was hugging each other,” said Justin Speck, a Rapid City native who was working in New York at the time.
And people were hugging again today, 10 years later, at Memorial Park where dozens gathered to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11.
“When 343 firefighters lost their lives in these moments it hits all of us right in the heart,” Maltaverne said.
As a gesture from the heart Connors unveiled a steel I-beam from the World Trade Center. It’s a physical symbol to help Rapid City and the country to never forget.
“It’s not about Rapid City, it’s about remembrance of what happened in Washington, DC, New York and Shankstown, PA and remembering what those people gave for our freedom,” said Maltaverne.
“I think 10 years later this is a wonderful, wonderful way to never forget, always remember and move forward,” Speck said.
“So as 9/11 represents the spirit of never forget, then 9/12 represents the spirit of never again,” said Mike Roesler, a Retired Battalion Chief.
The steel I-beam from the world trade center will be on permanent display at the theatre entrance of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.