Steel beam from World Trade Center on display at Richmond Raceway

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 11:30 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 6:20 AM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Saturday will mark 20 years since the 9/11 terror attacks that claimed the lives of thousands of Americans.

Now, a piece of history recovered from that tragedy is on display in Henrico for anyone to see. It was recovered from the World Trade Center. The thousand-pound steel beam made its way to the Richmond Raceway Thursday. Organizers say this isn’t only about remembering history but teaching it to those who weren’t even born in 2001.

Henrico County gathered for a solemn ceremony Thursday afternoon, filled with reflection and pride. No one can forget the horrific images from 20 years ago.

“The world’s Twin Towers burning and then crumbling,” said County Manager John Vithoulkas. He also remembers the lives lost. “These evil acts claimed, and let us never forget nearly 3,000 innocent lives, and shook our country and our world deeply and profoundly.”

That includes those who ran into harm’s way. That’s when Henrico firefighters were there to pay tribute.

“Honor all of the fallen brothers and sisters, both fire, police, Port Authority and the civilians that died in 9/11, and the sacrifices that we made as a country since then,” said Assistant Fire Chief Jackson Baynard.

For so many, it’s not just about reflection. It’s also about educating those who weren’t born when the attacks happened.

“The steel belongs to our organization. We use it for educational purposes. That’s our commitment. That’s what it’s really for - to remind the nation what happened on 9/11,” said John Riley with the Freedom Flag Foundation.

The relic from the World Trade Center is on display at the Richmond Raceway for NASCAR Weekend.

“They can touch history. It’s from the top floor’s 92nd to 95th floors of tower one.”

On top of that, the Freedom Flag - designed by a man in Goochland - will fly in all 50 states this weekend.

“That’s the largest Freedom Flag ever flown. That flag was created 20 years ago and is our Virginia symbol of remembrance for 9/11,” Riley added.

Henrico vows to never forget the tragedy that made us all just a bit closer.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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