As the Bloomington community gathered to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy, a piece of history stood outside.
A steel and concrete beam from the World Trade Center lay next to a flag at half mast. The city of Bloomington requested the beam two years ago, but only received it last month. The fire department plans to showcase the beam at various festivals across the state, and eventually it will become part of a permanent memorial at McDowell Switchyard dedicated to recognizing public safety officers across the country.
President of Bloomington Metropolitan Firefighters Union Local 586 Robert Loviscek says the public has appreciated the opportunity to see a part of the World Trade Center.
“It’s been very good,” he said. “They stop, they look, they’re almost afraid to touch it, but we encourage them to touch it, to take pictures. That’s why it was for.”
City councilman Dave Rollo found great pride for the city in being able to witness a physical part of 9/11.
“It has deep symbolic meaning and I think we’ve committed as a community to never forget 9/11 and this will be a reminder for the future,” Rollo said.
Even those too young to vividly remember the tragedy found the beam to have a strong impact.
“I thought it’d be amazing to feel what happened way far away from where I was on that day, to think about all the people that died,” said a 12-year-old boy.