(WXYZ) - In recent years, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been distributing artifacts from ground zero to police and fire departments across the country to serve as a rememberance of 9/11.
Most of the artifacts are steel beams that once held up the World Trade Center. Some local fire departments, like Shelby Twp. and Farmington Hills, have applied for and received a beam from the twin towers.
"The day that we opened it, it was an eerie thing because i knew that i was touching something that many people had died in," says Shelby Township Fire Chief Gene Shepherd.
That something is a 90 pound piece of World Trade Center steel his department received in the mail in February.
The Shelby Twp. Fire Department, like many other police and fire departments across the country were given the opportunity from the Port Authority of NY and NJ to have an artifact from ground zero, mostly I-beams from the twin towers to serve as a rememberance. There's an application process which involves describing how they'd display it to the public.
The whole process took a year for the Shelby Twp. fire department. For the Farmington Hills fire department, the process took two years.
It received a World Trade Center beam several weeks ago.
James Etzin is a firefighter/paramedic there who says "I was immediately moved. It took me back to September 11th, 2001. I wonder what floor of what tower this was on."
10 years ago, Etzin came up with the Bridge to Bridge, Side by Side Walk. It was a non-stop 9 ½ day march from the Ambassador Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge that served as a show of solidarity. He believes having the steel beam from the World Trade Center sends a similar message.
"Not only to remember those who were lost that day, but also to remember the survivors," says Etzin.
The beam will eventually become a permanent fixture alongside an existing 9/11 memorial that sits outside the Farmington Hills fire department.
"It's gonna give generations to come an opportunity to reflect on what happened that day," says Etzin.
In Shelby Township, the 9-11 beam is on display in the lobby of the department and it will stay there for anyone who wants to come by and see it.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
What would you do if you had a rooster making a home in your backyard?
7 Action News cameras were the only ones there to see a team of Hollywood celebrity stylists make over lives at a Detroit shelter.
Ypsilanti police believe robbery may have been the motive in the murder of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed.