|Published:||Aug 23, 2013 6:08 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 23, 2013 6:10 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- It's taken two years, but now a piece of steel from the September 11th attacks will forever remain on Fort Myers Beach.
A former New York City paramedic who lost his partner the day our country was attacked is the man behind the memorial.
"It's a constant reminder that freedom is not free, it always comes with a huge sacrifice."
For Fort Myers Beach Firefighters, the piece of steel stands for the thousands that fell victim to the violent act of terrorism on September 11th.
"It's a somber day of remembrance of the sacrifice and memory of the public safety that perished that day, as well as the thousands of citizens," said Captain Fire Marshal, Ron Martin.
This 800-pound artifact comes straight from New York. It is an actual piece of tower two recovered from the rubble of Ground Zero.
"It's a constant reminder of the dedication, the self sacrifice and bravery the public safety responders swear to on a daily basis, it's an ultimate reminder of what we do for a living," said Martin.
Randy Kraus was a first responder to the attacks. He survived, but his partner did not. He perished when tower 2 collapsed.
Kraus was given the two pieces of the Twin Towers steel after applying for them because of his actions on one of America's darkest days.
"After 9/11 things just weren't the same for my family and me, we lost a lot of friends, a lot of family," said Captain Medical Officer, Randy Kraus.
One piece is already honoring the victims displayed on the outside of three of the islands fire stations, but this piece will be centered in front of Fire Station 33 to make sure a part of history is not lost overtime.
"It's important to not only the residents of the community, but to the visitors for all Americans to remember what happened that day, it significantly changed the world that we live in."
The fire department is hoping to break ground on September 11th, but before they can, they must raise $10,000. The names of anyone who donates will be put on brick pavers. They hope to have the project completed by Veterans Day. Once they begin, they have six months to finish the project.