CHESAPEAKE - Two artifacts from the 9/11 terror attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were unveiled at Friday night's Virginia Freedom Festival in Chesapeake.
A 21-foot long steel beam from one of the towers and a 350-pound limestone section from the Pentagon are to be displayed in front of a 26'x 8' wall inscribed with the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks.
The artifacts were unveiled at a special ceremony Friday night at the Chesapeake City Park on Greenbrier Parkway. Among those attending the ceremony were April Gallop and her son, Elisha, who were at the Pentagon on that fateful day ten years ago.
Mike Conner lobbied to drive to Ground Zero and bring back the steel beam. He recently died of a heart attack.
"He was real quick to help anybody who needed help no matter what time, day or night. Everybody knew you could depend on Mike," said Lee Watkins of Givens Trucking.
Chesapeake firefighter John Rudis was one of the first responders who helped during rescue efforts at the site of the World Trade Center. He pulled bodies from the rubble.
"It was so overwhelming," said Rudis. "It's like- where do you start?"
The artifacts will ultimately become part of a permanent 9/11 memorial in Chesapeake. A location for those is yet to be decided.
The three-day festival began Thursday.
After the solemn ceremony, the festival will feature local and national musicians, vendors, a carnival, fireworks on Saturday night, and will end with a formal and solemn remembrance ceremony on Sunday.