Traveling 9/11 memorial arrives in San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Traveling 9/11 memorial arrives in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A piece of 9/11 history made its way to San Diego Saturday. The truck was used on 9/11 and the days that followed.

It will be featured in an exhibit, which for some, hits close to home.

"I'm shocked that it's here."

For retired New York City firefighter Tommy Fenech seeing Ladder 152 arrive to the San Diego bayfront was an emotional surprise.

"I thought it was crushed. I thought it was rolled away and scrapped somewhere," he said.

Fenech responded to the World Trade Center less than two minutes after the first plane hit.

He stayed there working for the next 8 and a half months -- at times, working on this very same truck.

"What you see on the news and what you see on TV and on the movies...it doesn't compare," said Fenech. 

Since being decommissioned this truck is now a piece of history.

"The world stopped...this reminded me of that day."

It's delivery Saturday, captured the attention of onlookers -- even those who were too young to remember the tragic events of that day.

"Through school, and my mom teach me everything about what happened," said 12-year-old Henry Audett. "And when I saw it like from driving up from way over there, my chest tightened up because I knew what it was from."

That reaction is exactly what Joe Torrillo strives for.

"To me, it's a way of reciprocating for all the help and support we got," he said.

The retired New York City firefighter lost six men from his station on 9/11.  

Having survived being trapped under the rubble, Torrillo says he now spends his time traveling the country with pieces like this to ensure Americans never forget.

"As the memory fades, it's only natural that when something that's tangible, it kinda brings it back...circumstances," said Torrillo. 

Ladder 152 will be on display through 9/11, along with other artifacts including pieces of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93.

"Never forget, always remember. That's the tag line at this point." 

The exhibit is stationed in front of the Hilton Bayfront and will be free to look at through 9/11.

There are also other commemorative events happening, including a memorial stair climb at the hotel Sunday.

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