Firefighters stand at attention around the new 9/11 memorial outside a Boiling Springs Fire Station. (July 4, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
The Boiling Springs Fire Department used the Fourth of July to dedicate a new memorial honoring those who were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
In the shadow of an American Flag, firefighters stood at attention around a piece of steel pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. Local leaders talked about the importance of remembering those killed in the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor.
"If we want to defend out freedom, we have to be prepared," said Greenville County Council Chairman Butch Kirven. "We have to be vigilant, and we have to fight for it."
"It shows how the Greenville community becomes one, whether it's a time of tragedy, (a) time to remember or (a) time to celebrate," said Boiling Springs Fire Chief Steve Graham.
The department applied to receive the nearly 6' tall, 1,400-pound steel beam in 2009, and last year its application was granted. Since then, neighboring businesses of the Pelham Road station and people in the community have worked together to build the memorial - the steel beam next to a glass panel, representing the future, in the middle of the firefighter emblem.
Dozens of people attended the dedication ceremony Wednesday. Some touched the piece of history, others took pictures and others were brought to tears.
"We just felt it was important to be here, especially with our 3-year-old son, to show how we respect people who give their lives for our freedoms," said Van Thomas, who attended the dedication.
"It affected all of us," said Carol Floriani, who moved to the Upstate after living near New York City for years. "Not only being from the area, but nationally and internationally."
Some said the memorial not only marks a dark day in America's history, but also shows home and unity for the future.
"How appropriate is that?" asked Graham. "To be able to dedicate a memorial like this to those Americans who lost their lives - on America's birthday - and show we're going to get back up."
The new plaza is open to the public.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:31 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:31:29 GMT
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