BELLAIRE, Texas (KTRK) -- Sunday marked 21 years since the tragic attack on American soil in New York City. As tributes across the country poured in, one here in Houston is a big reminder of the sacrifices made and the lives lost.
"This is a piece of history. 21-years-ago it's an attack that happened in our country that we'll remember forever," Deacon Tittel, the Bellaire fire chief, said.
"I know that I will never forget. Just as sure that I know their sacrifice was not in vain and their courage will never be forgotten."
A portion of an 11-foot I-beam from the World Trade Center was donated to the City of Bellaire in 2017, just before Hurricane Harvey hit.
The former Bellaire police chief said during the memorial dedication ceremony that it had been in the police impound lot until a place was picked for the piece of history.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Harvey delayed the timeline of when the display was revealed.
The beam was then taken to the Lone Star Flight Museum for an exhibit marking two decades since the attack. In the Spring of 2022, the piece of steel was brought back to Bellaire and mounted.
It's been five years, and people across the community will now have a memorial to visit. It's currently between the Bellaire Fire Department and the library, in front of the Bellaire Police Department.
"This artifact is a reminder of not just those terrible events of 9/11, but also how a nation of different people, different religions came together as one. As Americans," Onesimo "Mo" Lopez, Bellaire Chief of Police, said.
During the dedication ceremony, Mayor Andrew Friedberg said the steel artifact is a reminder never to take freedoms for granted.
Friedberg called it a solemn testament to the fragility of human life and spoke about the piece as a reminder of the first responders' calling.