SALEM, Va. – Beams from the North Tower of the World Trade Center make up the 9-11 Memorial that stands tall in Salem.
“We have people come from across the country. They’ll stop, they’ll leave momentums there. We’ve had people cry, we’ll have people pull up a chair and stare at it, said Chief John Prillaman with Salem Fire & EMS.
On Wednesday those admiring it were the ones most familiar with it. First responders gathered there to watch as the memorial raised a special U.S. flag, one that was flown at the same site in New York City, Ground Zero.
“The flag has been around the country, it’s been to military bases, to fire stations, police stations, it actually did three tours in Iraq and did some military missions,” added Prillaman.
A marble cross accompanies the flag – both serve as tributes to the brave men and women who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
“In the great pictures when you see all the death and mayhem of the people taking pictures of it and the people fleeing, you also see the backs of policemen and firemen,” said Tom Bowers, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Salem.
The date of the ceremony was no coincidence – the Ground Zero Flag Team chose Salem’s 9-11 Memorial because the flag flew over Ground Zero on Nov. 2, 2001, exactly 21 years ago at the time.
“It was an actual piece of the World Trade Center here in front of our station, our 9-11 Memorial. And he wanted the flag on the 21st anniversary to actually fly on a piece of the World Trade Center,” said Prillaman
If you didn’t get a chance to see the flag in Salem, you’ll have a couple more opportunities. It will be in Roanoke on Thursday before it’s taken to Lynchburg.