Outside Looking In

Where we you?

It's hard to believe it has been almost 20 years since we all watched intently on the television as the Twin Towers eventually crumbled the ground.
This was one of those events, much like when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, where we remember what we were doing at the time that the news broke.
One of my goals is to visit the Ground Zero Memorial Site in New York. From those I have talked to that have been able to visit this site, you place a much higher value on life when you leave there than we you arrived.
The Marshall Fire Department and the Rockville Fire Department (near St. Cloud) each acquired a beam from the rubble of the World Trade Center.
I visited both recently and it's mind-boggling how just looking at a piece of rusty iron can give you a new perspective on life. I urge you to do the same.
You find yourself stepping back in time and recalling the day we watched on television as people were jumping out of the windows of the Twin Towers before it collapsed.
We recall on all the people running down the street, their faces covered in dirt and soot, to get away from the implosion.
We can still see and hear the horrific sights and sounds from that day .... people screaming, sirens blaring, the planes crashing into the building and so much more.
And minutes later, as your head clears, you just find yourself standing there staring at a hunk of metal.
The beam that was acquired by the Marshall Fire Department is now located in Memorial Park in downtown Marshall. The memorial "celebrates our nation's capacity to survive and overcome adversity, while also symbolizing the renewal and resolve of a national which came together on that fateful day".
Memorial Park is a beautiful setting in the Marshall business district. There are pavers that represent those who lost their lives that day with blue stars representing police officers, red stars representing firemen, and black stars for the others.
The Rockville and Marshall fire departments were able to obtain these memorial pieces from the actual World Trade Center that collapsed.
After New York and New Jersey officials pondered for a few years what to do with these massive pieces from the wreckage, the decision was made to give them to police departments, fire departments, schools, museums and non-profits for use in memorializing and honoring the victims of 9/11.
One of the last remaining artifacts given away by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ended up in Rockville, a small community of 2,400 people that sits along Highway 23 about 10 minutes miles from St. Cloud. A Rockville committee sent one of the 1,300 requests for a piece of history and they were fortunate enough to be one of the recipients.
The twisted and bent beam they received now sits as the centerpiece of a memorial outside the Rockville Fire Department.
A New York firefighter visited the Rockville monument a few years ago and pointed out to committee members that the jagged edges in the I-beam came sometime after the event of 9/11. The jagged edges were the result of metal crosses having been cut from that beam, as well as many others, and given to the families of the victims as a memorial gift.
Marshall and Rockville have had thousands of visitors come to see and touch the pieces of metal and remember those who had their lives taken from them on Sept. 11, 2001.
A monument in Mt. Iron in northern Minnesota also has two pieces of steel from the World Trade Center that they have made into a memorial monument.

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The Minneota Mascot
Address: 201 N. Jefferson
Minneota, MN 56264

Phone:(507) 872-6492