FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- A steel beam from the fallen World Trade Center came to its permanent home in Federal Way Tuesday.
Firefighters Scott Mahlen and Sven Schievnik traveled 6,000 miles to New York and back to bring the beam to South King Fire Rescue Station 62. It will be part of a 9/11 memorial that is slated to be open by the 2012 anniversary.
Schievnik is a Brooklyn native and lost 23 friends on September 11.
"You have people that come up and start pointing to names on the trailer and they start giving you stories of how these people were living," he said.
"There was a gentleman who came up, had tears in his eyes, looked at the names, kissed the beam and walked away," said Mahlen.
Schievnik and Mahlen donated their own time to make the cross country journey, bringing back a piece of history that others can see and touch for themselves.
"It's very emotional because we lost so many people," said Carol Pearsall, a Federal Way resident who visited the beam Tuesday.