Local craftsmen construct 9/11 memorial in Florence

(Western Mass News photo)

One of the largest salvageable pieces of the World Trade Center is coming to western Mass.

It was an emotional day for those getting a first look at what will be one of the largest 9/11 memorials in the country.

The Springfield September 11th Memorial is under construction and today members of the fundraising committee traveled to Florence to see the progress so far.

This I-beam stands 9-and-a-half feet tall and is made from one of the largest pieces of salvageable steel remaining from the World Trade Centers

"This is an artifact that came from a national tragedy. To see something like this in our shop, to put our hands on it and work with it, has been very, ah, humbling," notes Aaron Stark, Salmon Studios craftsman. For awhile now, this cold piece of rusty steel has been made warm by craftsmen at Salmon Studios in Florence.

"I was a child at the time when 9/11 took place. To finally put my hands on a project like this is very different than anything I've ever done. There's a lot of weight to it," Stark tells Western Mass News.

Most remember where they were that fateful day, when two planes were hijacked crashing through the towers.

Frank Colaccino tells us he is no different.

"Coincidentally, I was at National Conference of Unity and Justice meeting for western Massachusetts," says Colaccino.

He's a part of the fundraising committee that pushed so hard to get this piece of steel to Springfield, where it will be revealed on the 17th anniversary of the terror attacks.

Once complete, this beam will be right in front of a bronze wall that has the names of first responders who passed etched right into it. The shadows of the world trade center's towers just behind.

"Our public servants are very important to us. We finally have an opportunity to remember that and install it in a place that's close to home," explains Stark.

"We are affected. It happened to us, just like it happened to New York. So to bring the memorial here, to be located on the riverfront, is just a wonderful tribute to our first responders who we all depend on," adds Colaccino.

Never Forget.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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