The most poignant moments at Sunday's South Fire District memorial dedication were not so much the unveiling of this massive chunk of rusted twisted steel as those that followed.
As the ceremony concluded — 10 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — those gathered on the front lawn were encouraged to step forward to get a closer look at the 8-foot monument which stretched toward the sky.
State Rep. Christie Carpino, R-32, and state Sen. Len Suzio, R-Meriden, were among those first to lay hands upon the cool beam. Some marveled at its almost stoic grandeur, and a handful of brightly dressed children — far too young to grasp its import — stretched out their arms in wonder.
Others simply closed their eyes and placed their palms along its rough surface.