9/11 anniversary

Vt. Community, Home to Sacred 9/11 Artifact, Reflects on Unity Following Attacks

A segment of structural steel from the World Trade Center has been turned into a memorial that sits outside the Brandon Police Department

NBC Universal, Inc.

Gov. Phil Scott issued a proclamation Friday declaring Sept. 11 Patriot Day in Vermont.

The Republican asked people and communities across the Green Mountain State to display the American flag, to try to return to the spirit of unity that swept the nation in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.

The town of Brandon is going to do its part, by joining the remembrances taking place across the nation Saturday — the 20th anniversary of the attacks.

Brandon is home to a memorial made from a somber 9/11 artifact.

"It's a sacred piece of our history," Chief Christopher Brickell of the Brandon Police Department said of a segment of structural steel removed from the debris of the World Trade Center.

The piece of the Twin Towers was made into a monument that now sits outside the Brandon Police Department.

Twenty years after the towers fell, the chief told NECN and NBC10 Boston he has been thinking about how, back then, he did not hear of anyone viewing themselves as being from red states or blue states. They saw themselves as from the United States, and wanted to work toward healing them.

"Everybody really treated each other differently," Brickell remembered. "Everybody knew that we had to pull together as Americans. It would be nice if we could get back to that sense of community that we had after 9/11."

Longing for unity in what often feels like a fractured America was on Bill Moore's mind, too, when he visited the town’s 9/11 memorial Friday.

"I still can't look at the footage without being overwhelmed with sadness," said Moore, Brandon's director of recreation. "But coming here and reflecting upon this [memorial] makes me think about the fact that we came together. We can continue to come together — support each other. If you focus on what unites us, that's much stronger than our differences."

Brickell says he sees people stopping by the beam to pay their respects, and not just in September.

Former flight attendant Paul Veneto had the day off on Sept. 11, 2001 - the day he lost friends and colleagues working on Flight 175, which hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center. After 20 years and a battle with addiction, Veneto pushed a beverage cart from Boston (where Flight 175 took off) all the way to New York City. He shares his story with NBCLX live from his travels.

For that reason, the community said it is proud to host the solemn artifact, as part of the nation's lasting promise to "never forget."

The Brandon Police Department invited community members to a short 20th anniversary 9/11 memorial service at 9:00 a.m. Saturday. The local post of the American Legion will be joining first responders in the remembrances, the chief said.

Contact Us