(09/11/12) - One Mid-Michigan community is now the permanent home of a 9/11 artifact.
Last year, we told you about two Frankenmuth firefighters who brought a piece of steel from the World Trade Center back to their community.
"I think it means that we can never forget and know that we are strong as a country," said Frankenmuth fire chief John Deterding.
On this eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Frankenmuth community looks back.
"We all remember where we were that day, whether you were in high school or whether you were working, so it's a privileged to host this piece of history and artifact," Deterding said.
Since its installation, it's not unusual to see someone standing in silence near the 1,000 pound piece of steel from the north tower. But this day seems different.
Mary Henne recalls moving to America from China just days before the attack. To this day, it still brings her to tears.
"It's just heart-breaking to see the people jumping out of the window and even now when I think about it, it's hard," she said.
For Henne, the memorial serves as a reminder. For others, it is a piece of history.
Tuesday, some nearby teachers brought students who don't have a personal story connecting them to that day.
"Most of the kids were born either in 2001 or in 2002, so I tried to show some video footage or explain to them where I was at that time. I was still in college. Just trying to make it personal," said fifth grade teacher Jill Nicholas.
As the teachers explained, the students looked on - many clearly engaged and feeling a connection to a tragic day.
"It's just a really great experience," said Ashlyn Szilagyi, fifth grader.
ABC12 Main Station