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Salem leaders pick new home for 9/11 memorial

Salem City leaders say they plan to move a 14,000 pound 9/11 memorial to an area near Fire Station 1.
Salem City leaders say they plan to move a 14,000 pound 9/11 memorial to an area near Fire Station 1. (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

SALEM (WSLS) - A memorial honoring the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorists attack will soon have a new home in Salem. Earlier this year, people were upset that Old Virginia Brick planned to auction off the 14,000 pound structure as part of the company's foreclosure liquidation.

Since then, city leaders agreed it was best to keep the piece of history local. After evaluating several sites, including the stadium in Salem, city leaders decided to place the monument in front of Fire Station 1. Officials said having a piece of American history near public safety workers would serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made on 9/11.

"343 firefighters lost their lives and a lot of police lost their lives," said Chief John Prillaman, Salem fire & EMS. " We will remember those people but we also remember those who are still willing to go into those buildings."

When the two beams from the World Trade Center were on the auction block, the community rallied to keep the steel structures in Salem.

"We put a committee together to evaluate a whole bunch of different sites in Salem on public property where we could put the monument," said Kevin Boggess, Salem City Manager.

Right now a pile of soil marks the area where city leaders plan to move the 911 memorial. They are working with a local engineering firm to design a foundation strong enough to hold 14,000 pounds of steel.

In the future, officials hope the site will be a place to show support for those who answer when danger calls and to further recognize the fallen heroes who stood tall against terrorists.

"If we have businesses who come forward then we'd like to on the 15th Anniversary {of 9/11} dedicate the plaza and the monument as the permanent site" said Boggess.

Boggess said the city plans to have the 9/11 memorial placed in front of Fire Station 1 by September 11, 2015.