Rockville, Minn. received one of the last artifacts from Twin Towers

Updated: September 11, 2019 08:08 PM

When the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001, it created tons of wreckage and debris.

It took years to determine what to do with all the remnants from the iconic buildings.


Eventually, the decision was made to give pieces of the wreckage away to police departments, fire departments, schools, museums and nonprofits for use in memorials honoring the 9/11 victims.

One of the last remaining artifacts to be given away by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ended up in the small town of Rockville, Minnesota.

Rosie and Daryl Steil served on the committee that helped bring an artifact from the World Trade Center to Rockville.

The Steils and the committee of volunteers from Rockville sent a request to the Port Authority for a 9/11 artifact.

"They had like 1,300 requests and we were fortunate enough to be one of the recipients," said Rosie Steil.

What they received now sits as the centerpiece of a memorial outside the Rockville Fire Department honoring the 2,973 lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

18 years later, America vows to 'never forget' 9/11

The monument brings people from all over the country to Rockville to see and touch a piece of what was once the World Trade Center.

"When I stand here, I feel this piece of metal drawing me to it," said Daryl Steil. "I need to touch it. I find other people telling me the same thing. There are spirits in this piece of metal. It draws you to want to touch it."

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The twists and bends of the I-beam in Rockville's memorial tell the story of what happened on that day 18 years ago.

But, Daryl Steil said a New York firefighter visiting the monument just recently pointed out that the jagged edges in the I-beam came some time after 9/11.

Metal crosses, Daryl said, were cut from the steel and given to the families of the victims.

"It was more special than we originally thought," said Daryl Steil.

It's the Steils' and the City of Rockville's way to make sure we never forget.

"I guess I just want them to know, anyone who was involved, we won't forget you," said Rosie Steil. "We are always praying for you and we are always behind you. Thank you so much for saving us."

In addition to the one in Rockville, there are artifacts from the World Trade Center in other Minnesota cities.

A beam from the Twin Towers is now at a memorial in Marshall, and a monument in Mt. Iron, on the Iron Range, was built with two pieces of steel from the World Trade Center.

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Tim Vetscher and Jason Hanson

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