9/11: An American Tragedy

10th anniversary tributes in downtown Milwaukee

CREATED Sep. 11, 2011

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  • Milwaukee hosts several 9/11 remembrance ceremonies Video by tmj4.com

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MILWAUKEE - There were two emotional 9-11 tributes in downtown Milwaukee on Sunday, the tenth anniversary of the attacks. Wisconsin firefighters held an event the US Bank building and Milwaukee County welcomed a steel piece of the World Trade Center to the nearby War Memorial.

Putting on full turnout gear and wearing as much as 50 pounds in equipment, firefighters from several departments climbed stairs at the US Bank building to reflect on trying, final moments New York firefighters endured a decade ago.

"It's important for everyone to remember what we felt on that day,” said Battalion Chief Aaron Lipski of the Milwaukee Fire Department.

Each wore the picture of a firefighting brother who died responding to the World Trade Center.

"I'm climbing the US Bank building in honor of Chris Blackwell who was a member of Rescue Company 3,” Milwaukee firefighter Andy Wilke told TODAY’S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray. "Every day of my life I wear a bracelet. I work on Ladder Company 11 here in Milwaukee.  These are the 6 members of Ladder 11 FDNY that were murdered on 9/11."

At Milwaukee’s War Memorial Center, County Executive Chris Abele led a ceremony to unveil a piece of the actual World Trade Center.

The beam arrived late in the week, just in time for the tenth anniversary. Joe Campbell, a Vietnam army veteran, voluntarily drove it all the way from New York to Milwaukee.

"What that represents is what freedom is all about,” Campbell said. “It is not free.  We have to defend it. We have to preserve it and, obviously, unfortunately, we have to fight for it."

Work is now underway to create a permanent display at the War Memorial for the steel section.