A piece of history from the World Trade Center was unveiled in Fort Lauderdale Friday, 19 years after the 9/11 attacks.
A rail from the tracks at the train station that was below the World Trade Center has been turned into a monument on Riverwalk.
The monument is by New River, and the rail is supported by granite pillars.
A ribbon cutting ceremony welcomed the new monument into town on Friday.
“To have a piece of 9/11 right here in our city is an incredible feeling,” said Karen Dietrich, Fort Lauderdale’s police chief.
City officials said the piece of rail was part of the tracks at the station that had been emptied before the towers collapsed. The last few people at the station left on the last train out at 9:10 that morning, 19 years ago.
“I’m very pleased that we have something that recognizes all the lives that were lost,” said Rhonda Mae Kerr, Fort Lauderdale’s fire rescue chief.
Around 9:10 Friday morning, officials rang a bell to honor the rescue efforts happening underground that day. Fort Lauderdale’s first responders said it’s important to never forget the people who saved lives, while losing their own.
“We hung the large American flag from the two aerials over Broward Boulevard with a sign that said, ‘Never Forget,’ to try to remind everybody that was commuting into the city to never forget and to always remember those that made that ultimate sacrifice,” said Kerr.
The city’s mayor said the monument has a special meaning.
“This monument, while it’s simply a piece of steel, it’s more than that,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis. "It symbolizes the american spirit, it symbolizes who we are as Americans and that’s what today is all about."
He wants people to see that, and use it in life today.
“Every day becomes a challenge to make sure that the values of democracy, and self respect, respect for one another is all about who we are as Americans,” said Trantalis.
Kerr echoed the mayor’s thoughts on the country coming together.
“We never forget that our country was attacked and we never forget the kindness that came out of that tragedy,” said Kerr.
The City of Fort Lauderdale won the monument in a bidding process, and are happy it’s now on display.
“In order to go forward we have to always remember where we came from,” said Dietrich. “We have to understand the history of what happened.”
The dedication ceremony was closed to the public because of COVID-19, however, the city is inviting people to stop by to see the monument.