The “Heart of Steel” has been making its way around New Castle County this week.
The nationally recognized plaque is made out of steel from the World Trade Center and was designed as a way for people to reflect on the men and women who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“It’s a great and humbling experience to be able to participate in such a remembrance by having the Heart of Steel here,” said Wilmington Fire Chief Anthony Goode. “The reason that the heart of steel is traveling from Atlanta to New York City is so that it can visit firehouses. Usually, it spends a week at local firehouses and fire departments across the country. While it’s there for that week, firefighters as well as EMS and police officers and law enforcement are able to reflect back on the remembrance of 9/11.”
The plaque was designed and made by the custom motorcycle builder, Orange County Choppers. As the plaque travels across America, it raises money for Bikers for America’s Bravest and the Tunnel to Tower Foundation which builds homes from military vets with debilitating injuries.
In the days following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Chief Goode said the Wilmington Fire Department dispatched firefighters to New York City to assist in the search and clean-up efforts.
“It’s touching to see the individual reflecting back on the dedication these individuals had going into the rubble and risking their lives, especially the 343 firefighters who lost their lives,” said Goode.
Earlier this week, the plaque made a stop at the Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security, a charter school in New Castle, where students got to learn about 9/11.
“For a lot of children, they weren’t even of age when this happened so it was a good opportunity for them to understand what it’s like to risk your life so others may live,” said Goode.
The Heart of Steel will be on display through Friday at the Louis Redding City County building in downtown Wilmington.
On Saturday, the plaque will be on display along with a Wilmington remembrance bell at the kick off the annual 9/11 Hero’s 5k run/walk.
That race begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Frawley Stadium on the Wilmington Riverfront. Participants can register the morning of the event. All ages are welcome.