Modesto and Turlock joined the nation Tuesday in remembering the nearly 3,000 people killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The Turlock Fire Department unveiled a piece of steel from the World Trade Center wreckage as part of its ceremony.
Fire chief Robert Talloni said the block will be on display for visitors at the city’s fire museum inside the station on Marshall Avenue.
“It will be there for you to see and touch,” he said. “We want you to touch it.”
Modesto’s organizers invited a diverse group of speakers to show that the attacks, carried out by Islamic extremists, have not driven Americans apart.
“There is no place in our hearts or minds for hate,” said Gladys Williams, president of the Modesto-Stanislaus Branch of the NAACP. Other speakers outside the Modesto Fire Department’s Station 1 represented Latino, Sikh and other communities.
A total of 19 hijackers flew two planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Virginia and another into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers fought to gain control.
Speakers in Modesto recalled the firefighters and police officers who died along with the employees and visitors to the buildings. They noted that people of various ages and ethnic backgrounds died on Sept. 11.
“We will always remember this day, and hopefully, it will always unify us,” said Mani Grewal, a Modesto city councilman and member of the Sikh faith.
The event is hosted by the city of Modesto, Grewal, Community Action of Stanislaus County, and Modesto View.