Winter Garden gets piece of World Trade Center wreckage for 9-11 memorial

September 9, 2011, 1:19 am

Jimmy Brown was stationed across the street from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and his New York firefighting company was among the first to respond when the first plane hit the towers.

Brown, who left New York in 2007, returned this week to pick up a piece of wreckage for his new hometown, Winter Garden, in time for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. On Thursday morning, he and three other volunteers arrived in a truck with the rusted 700-pound I-beam, which will be used in a city memorial to honor all the victims of 9-11. “To bring a piece of where I almost died, it’s something that I could have never imagined I’d do,” said Brown, 44.

Winter Garden Fire Chief John Williamson requested the artifact a year ago from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns what’s left of the towers. The city is raising money to build the memorial.

There’s no cost to get an artifact from the authority, which has received more than 2,500 requests from cities, fire departments, law-enforcement agencies and nonprofits. But agencies that get the pieces must find a way to transport them. Winter Garden is one of about four dozen organizations in Florida approved to receive an artifact.


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