Steel from World Trade Center on display during Richmond Raceway 9/11 memorial service

Henrico County

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Raceway and Henrico County held a 9/11 memorial ceremony on Thursday afternoon, just days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks.

The service included displaying a piece of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center to honor the lives lost on 9/11. The wreckage was driven into the Richmond Raceway underneath a massive flag that had been hoisted into the air by fire trucks.

The piece of steel originally came from over 90 stories up in the World Trade Center Tower 1. The salvaged steel is large, weighing 1,100 pounds.

It was brought to Richmond as a courtesy by the Freedom Flag Foundation and Cranemasters. It will continue to be on display at the Raceway all weekend.

The Freedom Flag was designed on a napkin by Richard Melito, a Richmond business owner. It acts as a representation of the attacks on Sept. 11 and honors the first responders and military personnel who answered the call of duty.

The Henrico County joint Public Safety Honor Guard also participated in the ceremony.

Henrico County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Schmitt reflected on the tragic day at the ceremony. Schmitt said his father-in-law and brother-in-law worked in and near the World Trade Center at the time of the terror attacks. He said both somehow happened to not be there when the towers fell.

“These moments in time, they leave permanent fingerprints upon our nation’s history,” Schmitt said.

Schmitt said he is thankful that the country has unified following moments filled with so much sorrow and despair.

“Time and time again, we’ve responded by sidelining individualism and cheerleading collectivism,” Schmitt said.

At the event, Schmitt called on Henrico County to come together and stop the “disintegrating” of people’s commonalities.

“Here in Henrico County, let us light and lead a better way forward,” Schmitt said. “Let us always remember and honor the moments of our past, while we ensure these memories propel us to greater harmony, peace, and empathy for one another.”

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