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Sacred steel now part of Turlock
September 11 ceremony
Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni presents a piece of steel that was from World Trade Center's Tower 2 during the 17-year anniversary memorial for 9/11 (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Sept. 11, 2001 is a defining day in America that everyone over a certain age remembers vividly, and now a new addition to the Turlock Fire Department’s fire museum will help ensure the tragedy and heroics of that day are remembered by future generations to come.

During a memorial ceremony Tuesday morning at Turlock Fire Station 31, the fire department unveiled a metal sculpture featuring a square steel plate from one of the World Trade Center towers that fell in the attack carried out by 19 terrorists.

“This 12 by 12-inch piece of steel is a physical reminder — a witness of the brutal reality of those horrific events,” said Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni. “This steel will be displayed right here at Fire Station 31...for you to see and touch. We want you to touch it...feel the connection.”

The fact that Turlock was able to obtain one of the few remaining World Trade Center artifacts is due to some dogged determination of Turlock Fire Department staff for more than two years, particularly from Chief Talloni. Before coming to Turlock Talloni spent more than three decades with the fire department in Norwalk, Connecticut, a community that lost residents in the terrorist attack.

The sculpture holding the piece of steel was designed by PNF Metal and features a pair of hands donning firefighter gloves holding up the artifact.

The well-attended annual memorial event served to remind the community of the nearly 3,000 lives lost that day by recounting some of the individual heroics and losses.