A Steel Resolve

By Erika Mahoney

September 11, 2012 Updated Sep 12, 2012 at 9:30 AM EDT

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It has been eleven years, since planes and hatred changed our way of life in a span of minutes on a crisp Tuesday morning.

Buildings crumbled, but the American spirit was fortified.

In the Town of Union, residents remembered with a unique procession, from the Endwell Fire station to Highland Park.

The march commemorated the addition of a piece of steel from the World Trade Center to our community, with a candlelight vigil to honor those who lost their lives eleven years.

The brother of Peggy Garbarini was one of those people.

"I'm here in honor and memory of my brother, Lieutenant Charles Garbarini," she said. "He was one of the firefighters who was killed on September 11th. So when I heard they were bringing the steel up from Manhattan, I wanted to be here. I'm grateful to have a piece of it up here."

The 10 ft. I-beam was acquired by the Town of Union last year. The ceremony had to be pushed to 2012 because of last year's floods.

According to Fire Chief Jeff Winchell of the Endwell Fire Dept., seeing the beam really hit home.

"Locally, many first-responders from the fire, EMS, and law enforcement went down to assist the New York City brothers and sisters down there," said Winchell. "So we are dedicating this piece of steel to all the first responders both here and the people that perished in the 9/11 sites."

The plan is to have the memorial complete by September 2013.

Senior Project Manager David Briggs, of Delta Engineers, said he put a lot of thought into the design of the monument.

"I designed the monument to incorporate the three sites that the terrorists took lives from," said Winchell. "The memorial is shaped like a Pentagon, it also has a footprint of the World Trade Centers in the middle, and it has the piece of steel embedded in the monument and pointing towards Shanksville, Pennsylvania."

Both the designs and Tuesday's vigil attracted a lot of people to gather in the depths of Highland Park.

"I'll tell ya, the people who died for our country, they deserve this honor that was put up today," said Sally Perry.

Garbarini couldn't agree more, saying what happened is something she will never and can never forget.

"To get here, and see such love and support..." she said. "And people I don't even know, just hugging me and being supportive. It's very comforting, very heart warming.

But still, she says a sense of hopelessness remains.

"It never goes away, never And I know some people don't understand that, and they think there should be closure and all of that. But the pain never goes away."