Beam from World Trade Center forms memorial in Janesville

Janesville officially dedicates 9/11 memorial

A piece of the World Trade Center will be in Janesville for future generations to see and remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

A single piece of steel serves as direct connection to the lives lost and the extraordinary acts of courage Americans saw 11 years ago.

“As we stand in the shadow of this monument, we reaffirm our honor to those who’ve passed,” said Janesville Police Chief David Moore. “We reaffirm our respect for freedom and we reaffirm our promise to be ever vigilant against indications of terrorism.”

The 6-foot beam came from one of World Trade Center towers.

“If that beam could talk, what a story it would tell,” said Janesville Fire Chief Jim Jensen.

City leaders and volunteers worked for more than two years to bring the beam to its new home at Firehouse Park in downtown Janesville.

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The monument was officially dedicated on the somber anniversary.

“This memorial that stands here today, thanks to the Firefighters Charities, will stand in remembrance of that day for generations to come,” said Janesville City Manager Eric Levitt.

Milly Burhans and her husband returned to Janesville to attend the dedication ceremony.

“My husband being on the fire department made it closer for us as far as how you feel, how you felt when you saw the firefighters coming out covered in dust,” said Burhans.

The beam still bears the markings from the ironworkers who originally installed it as well as the broken end from when the towers collapsed.

“We can bring our grandchildren down here and this shows what happened, losing almost 3,000 lives and the attack on our country,” said Lt. Dave Sheen.

Sheen and several other firefighters helped bring the beam to Janesville. Even though Janesville is hundreds of miles from ground zero, officials said the spirit of those whose duty ended in death will live on.

“May we never forget,” Jensen said.

Sheen said they decided to display the beam horizontally because that’s how it would have been in the building. They also designed the monument to face east and point toward New York. 

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