Twisted steel beams and a fire truck from the New York Fire Department were part of a 9/11 motorcade that traveled from Escondido to downtown San Diego Saturday afternoon.
Law enforcement officials and the public gathered for the motorcade which began at 11 a.m. at the Deer Springs Fire Station 11, located at 8709 Circle R Drive. It ended a short while later at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront located at 1 Park Ave.
The event highlighted the sacrifice many in law enforcement made across the country on September 11, 2001.
The message was driven home by the inclusion of the New York Fire Department's Aerial Ladder Truck 152. Each of the firefighters assigned to it lost their lives on 9/11.
“Seeing the officers salute as the truck came up is a reminder of what’s important and what it means to be an American,” said spectator, Art Cohen.
Mixed into the crowd Saturday were a few people who were in New York City during the attacks, including retired FDNY Lt., Joe Torrillo.
“For me it’s obviously very heart-warming and respectable what people do around the country to keep the memory alive of those in New York City,” said Torrillo.
“If it wasn’t for everybody, we’d still be under that pile of twisted steel and tons of concrete.”
Along with the fire truck, limestone from the walls of the Pentagon and pieces of the World Trade Center and United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, were included in the motorcade.
Each artifact will go on display at the Hilton Bayfront as a special exhibit slated to run through Wednesday -- the 12th anniversary of 9/11.
As the nation prepares to commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Torrillo said it was important that people continue to see for themselves what happened on that day.
“The thing is that as the memory fades it's only natural that when people see something like this that’s tangible it kind of brings it back in a way that it would never come back under any other circumstance,” he added.