August 9, 2002 at 8:42 PM EST - Updated July 2 at 11:40 PM
EASTLAKE, Ohio (AP) - The Cleveland suburb of Eastlake, the only Ohio city to receive large pieces of the World Trade Center's remains, will turn 500 pounds of twisted steel into a monument in time for the Sept. 11 anniversary.
City workers hoisted two pieces of World Trade Center wreckage (pictured, right) from a pickup truck Thursday.
"When I stood and thought about it and then touched it, I almost lost it," Dennis Dirk said. "It may be just a few hunks of steel at first, but it's overwhelming."
He and several other city workers wiped away tears.
The city of New York agreed to give Eastlake Mayor Dan DiLiberto several pieces of the World Trade Center after he wrote a letter proposing a monument at Eastlake's Boulevard of 500 Flags, a memorial to Lake County men and women who died in the military.
"I think you'll see a lot more people coming here now just to touch the steel and remember the pain of others," city service director William Phillip said. "It's a reminder that we live in a world where it's not safe out there.
"We think we live in a bubble, but this steel says otherwise."
DiLiberto said Eastlake, located 20 miles northeast of Cleveland, was one of 150 sites nationwide to receive large pieces of the building's remains.
"We had to walk through the landfill with an FBI agent and a New York City policeman when we picked out the pieces," DiLiberto said.
He said the two strips of twisted steel -- one 6 feet high and the other 4 feet -- will become the centerpieces of a memorial.
A few chips of granite from the facing of the World Trade Center and a portion of a lamppost that once stood in front of the buildings also will be incorporated into the design, he said.
DiLiberto said he has conceived a pentagonal monument, representing the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The monument also will include two concrete rectangles to represent the World Trade Center and a grassy area to represent the Pennsylvania field where Flight 93 crashed.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)