Officials from Middletown received a relic from the remains of the World Trade Center.
The immense effort got underway on Wednesday morning to retrieve pieces from one of our nation's darkest days. A piece of steel from the World Trade Center, which was destroyed on Sept, 11, 2001 was brought to the city from New York City.
The New York-New Jersey Port Authority granted one 13 foot sections of subway rails weighing 1,500 pounds to Middletown's Veteran's Memorial Park on Walnut Grove Road. It is part of the rail system that ran under the World Trade Center buildings.
A Glastonbury company donated a truck and offered a driver to help pick up the steel.
First responders from Middletown escorted that truck to New York where the steel was inside a hanger at John F. Kennedy Airport. The steel will be put in a newly prepared section of the park.
"Being in the fire service for the last 34 years it's in our hearts," said Deputy Chief Albert Santostefano, fire marshal. "It will say never forget, and we don't."
The relic will permanently rest in the park and will honor the 2,977 who died in the attacks as well as the 65 state soldiers who served and lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It is emotional," Joe Bajorski, who is a Middletown firefighter and veteran, said. "It gives you a lot of pause and time to reflect on everything this country’s offered us and the sacrifices made by individuals.”
The rail was so intact because it had been trapped under a subway car entombed in an iron tunnel underneath one of the towers.
Diane DeLuzio’s son Stephen was killed in Afghanistan and is one of the 65 fallen Connecticut soldiers with monuments at the park. All who lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11.
"He really signed up, wanted to join the army after 9/11, so having this relic from the twin towers come here today is really meaningful," DeLuzio said.
Project organizer Sue Martucci’s daughter currently serves in the military. She is responsible for getting the artifact to the park and said she hopes it will be a teaching tool for future generations.
“It will be something for kids to ask questions, what does this piece of rail stand for? What does it mean and that’s important to keep history alive," Martucci said.
The subway rail will ultimately have a fence that will surround it and there will be a plaque to describe its place in history. One side of the track is purposely empty to represent all of the lives lost that tragic day.
There will be a dedication ceremony in the next few weeks.
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