There were countless events commemorating the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Whether it was a moment of silence, a candlelight vigil or simply thanking those who serve in the military, each opportunity was unique. Marshall, Minnesota, dedicated a memorial park Sunday. And not only is the monument a place for people to pay their respects, it's also a place for them to see a piece of history.
Craig Schafer works for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, a company created to remove debris from disasters in the state of Minnesota. Shortly after 9/11, Schafer and his co-workers went to New York City to see how the city moved the materials left from the destruction.
"We learned, at that point, that they didn't have the typical role that we would see ourselves playing here in Minnesota. So, we went back, another colleague and I went out in July of 2002, and met with the New York City people," Schafer said.
On that trip Schafer noticed large amounts of the steel material from the World Trade Center and questioned why it was still there. He then learned, that the artifacts were being held for memorials.
"And that lit a spark in me, that that's something that Marshall would probably want to look at," Schafer said.
Soon afterwards, Schafer made the request to receive a piece from one of the towers.
"I drafted a letter. Marc reviewed it, the Mayor reviewed it, it was on our letterhead, I signed it, sent it out to those people and within a week, got notification back that 'absolutely, you know let us know when you want to come out and pick up your beam,'" Schafer said.
So nearly one year after the attacks, Schafer went back to New York to pick up the historic marker.
"Marshall didn't directly lose anybody that day in the attacks but we were certainly affected. And my attitude or my response was, why not Marshall? why not every town? Those were attacks on America," Schafer said.
And for those who live here in the town of Marshall, having this memorial set in place to remember September 11th is an honor.
"I never thought this would happen in Marshall, Minnesota," Marshall resident Becky Thiesse said. "There's a lot of work put into this and I hope from all surrounding towns that they come and appreciate what the town has done."
This is the first year the 9/11 ceremony was held in the new memorial park. The Marshall Fire Department had stored the beam for the past nine years.