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Barrow receives World Trade Center artifact

WINDER -- A tragic but poignant reminder of a dark chapter in American history has finally arrived in Barrow County, and not a moment too soon.

After trying for two years, Barrow County Emergency Services officials have received a piece of New York City's former World Trade Center just days from the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Details of the artifact, a gift from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, are being kept under wraps until an unveiling planned for Sept. 11 in Auburn.

"We're very honored to receive this piece of American history," said department spokesman Lt. Scott Dakin.

Barrow County joins more than 1,000 communities and organizations across the country, and one of 24 in Georgia, in obtaining a Word Trade Center relic. More than 1,500 requests were received, officials have said.

In Barrow, the effort started when Lt. Ernest Weant read a trade magazine article about the Port Authority dishing out pieces of the toppled structures. He started filling out application paperwork two years ago.

"Now we have a tangible piece of history to share with all of the citizens we serve," Weant said in a press release.

In Gwinnett, the city of Suwanee was duly honored July 14.

Suwanee officials accepted a 1,638-pound piece of twisted steel that arrived via a UPS 18-wheeler.

Suwanee's nearly 8-foot artifact will be unveiled during a Sept. 10 ceremony. Ultimately, the city anticipates obtaining proposals from artists who'll use the section of steel as the centerpiece for a public artwork.