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World Trade Center artifact delivered to Carroll County

Gently placing her hands on an artifact from the World Trade Center, Debbie Raver was among more than 50 people who surrounded the steel beam after it was delivered to the Carroll County Volunteer Emergency Services Association in Westminster. Officers from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police, Westminster Police Department and Carroll County fire companies escorted the relic into Carroll County Wednesday evening.

"This makes me feel deeply patriotic and devoted to my country," said Raver, of Finksburg.

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Raver's husband Don Raver is a volunteer firefighter for the Reese Volunteer Fire Company, and he was among the group who helped transfer the artifact from JFK Airport in New York to Westminster.

"The Carroll County volunteer firefighters give the utmost in sacrifice. The fact that this piece of steel is at the training center will inspire many firefighters to come. It validates all the sacrifices of every firefighter within the United States," Raver said.

About a year ago, CCVESA's training center manager Shane Darwick contacted the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's World Trade Center Artifact Give-away Program. He requested an artifact from the 9/11 WTC attack, which will be displayed in front of CCVESA's new training center. On Aug. 7, CCVESA received confirmation from the program that they would receive a steel girder approximately 14 feet long, 2 feet wide and 9 inches high.

"We thought it would be kind of cool to make this part of our new training center. It will represent all the public safety people who will be walking through our doors," Darwick said.

Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said the steel girder was tagged and saved with other artifacts for possible use in a museum. The program has distributed more than 2,000 pieces of steel to all 50 states. The Port Authority has sent 19 artifacts to various municipal governments, fire companies, schools and other organizations in Maryland since 2010.

Nicholas Caples, of Finksburg, stood by the side of the road holding a flag as he awaited the arrival of the beam.

"9/11 is particularly important to me because I lost my fiance that day. She was in the World Trade Center. This beam has multiple meanings for me. In a sense, it's a door opening and in a sense, it's a door closing. I'll always remember her," Caples said.

CCVESA's president Charles Simpson, Jr. said the steel girder will be part of a future Carroll County 9/11 Memorial at the training center. He said the memorial will be designed and created by students at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center.

"We wanted to show some honor and respect to the memory of the World Trade Center attack. We're asking the students to design it from their generation's perspective," Simpson said.

Josh Miller, a senior at Francis Scott Key, is the lead designer for the project. He is part of the drafting program at the Career and Technology Center.

"We're still in the design process," Miller said. "We plan to borrow some ideas from the World Trade Center Memorial [in New York], like the square design."

Miller said the group is looking for sponsors to help provide materials for the memorial. To donate, contact CCVESA's administrative assistant Neal Roop at 410-848-1488 Ex. 204.

410-857-7873

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