MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Pieces of the World Trade Center are now on display in Mooresville.
On the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, community members joined military veterans and their families to welcome a 110 pound steel I-beam, pulled from the rubble at Ground Zero.
It's a very emotional moment, said Commander Kevin Nash.
Nash is the senior naval science instructor at St. Stephens High in Hickory.
He is coordinating the construction of two monuments.
One will be displayed near the storefront at the Welcome Home Veterans -- Living Military Museum in downtown, the other at the high school.
It s exciting. We are finally going to see it where they need to be-- in the custody of the military museum, said Nash.
Nash says for two years, they have been working to secure the beams from the Port Authority of New York.
In 2008, the agency began donating remnants of the Twin Towers to groups across the county willing to honorably preserve and safeguard the these pieces of American history.
It's very important we mark this time in history, much like we marked Pearl Harbor, in that we understand history changed that morning, he said.
The St. Stephens High School ROTC also presented their collection of debris from the World Trade Center.
Nash says there is about a truckload of debris, like floor tiles, that will be used in the construction of the monuments.
St. Stephen's art students are being commissioned to submit designs for the monuments. A design contest will be held in the upcoming weeks.
Nash says designs will be chosen by October, and by February 2014, they hope to have the monuments complete.
I think there is going to be five or six top notch designs. It is going to be hard to pick the actual design for this, and when we do, we are going to have just a really incredible monument, really moving.
Everyone is being asked to gently touch the beams and reflect on the countless acts of heroism that day and remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost.
The I-beams will be on display at the museum during the design phase of the monuments and is open to the public.
Prior to donating the beam to the museum, Nash used it to teach students about 9/11.
To actually touch the piece, to attempt to lift it, and I have never been able to communicate with students the way I did that day, or since. It is an incredibly moving experience to actually see the video, feel the steel and understand the incredible weights, pressures and horrors that happened that day, said Nash.