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CBS 2 Exclusive: Fleet Week Sailors Visit Firehouse With WTC Beam Connection

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Memorial Day weekend gives the nation a time to remember the sacrifices made by members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

And for one ship visiting New York for Fleet Week, there's a special connection with a lower Manhattan firehouse.

As the guided missile destroyer USS McFaul takes part in Fleet Week, some of its sailors took time to pay tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, CBS 2's John Slattery reported Friday.

"Remembering what happened on 9/11 and our commitment to our country," USS McFaul Chief Petty Officer Brian Dunn said.

Two dozen sailors from the McFaul visited the firehouse for Ladder 3 in the East Village where three pieces of steel from a World Trade Center beam are on display.

The sailors said they know the importance of such sacred relics because they have a matching piece aboard their ship.

"It's that steel that keeps these sailors going every day. We're out there serving the country," Dunn said.

On the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the USS McFaul unveiled a piece of I-beam from the World Trade Center that is displayed on the ship's mess decks for all to see.

"We made a memorial out of it on our ship so we see it every day. Now seeing the letters here, it's touching," Petty Officer James Thompson said.

Many of the sailors said they wondered where the letter was that was cut out of the beam aboard their ship.

"I never knew where it was until today, where the other half was, until today," Petty Officer Sara Gagnon said.

"It's nice to see the other pieces missing from it. Now we know our connection with it," Petty Officer Faith Rivera said.

Ladder 3, which was crushed on Sept. 11, is prominently displayed in the Sept. 11 Memorial Museum. Its firehouse prominently displays the names of the 12 firefighters who gave their lives.

"For us, it's an honor to have them, to have it on there for what they do," Ladder 3 Capt. Glenn Sheridan said.

The steel in both locations is a living memory of the evil terrorism can do, as well as the Navy's role in trying to prevent it, Slattery reported.

The USS McFaul received the beam through an organization called Sons and Daughters of America in Breezy Point, Queens. The area lost 29 residents in the Sept. 11 attacks.

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