First responders who risk their lives every day for the city of Beckley joined their community at a 9/11 memorial in Word Park, to honor those who lost their lives on this infamous day in history.
A performance from St. Francis de Sales Catholic School Choir was followed by reflecting speeches from City of Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold and Ward IV Kevin Price.
Price was once a first responder himself with the Beckley Fire Department and because of the dedication he sees from his firemen family every day, he wanted to help bring a special monument to West Virginia for the 10th anniversary back in 2011.
“We came upon a website with the Port Authority of New York that if we were in the process of a monument, fill out the paperwork, and we might get an artifact,” Price said.
They got Artifact 105-B to be exact. Now in Word Park, a steel beam from the World Trade Center sits on a granite monument reading, “We will never forget.”
Screws can still be moved through its holes, as well as rust lines along the beam that held up the strong tower. Rust that James sees as a result of “the tears of those who were taken.” It assures James that tragedy was not the end to this story.
“There are other stories that go along with this piece of steel that we don’t know,” Price said.
While over 3,000 lives were lost on September 11, 2001, over 3,000 children were born that same day.
Even though students today may not recall that moment in history, keeping the honor alive in their hearts is what Price hopes a monument and service like this will do for years to come.