Fontaine Avenue Fire Station opens doors on 9/11

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Wednesday marks the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The attacks killed close to 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000 others.

The Charlottesville Fire Department’s Fontaine Avenue Fire Station 9/11 Memorial Atrium doors are open to the community to honor the lives lost on this horrific day in history.

Doors will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 2420 Fontaine Avenue.

According to a press release, free parking is available in the visitors spots in front of the station or on Summit Street.

"They can just come in freely and we will have some light refreshments and we will be around but if they just want to sit in solitude or in quiet they can,” said Fontaine Fire Station Deputy Fire Chief Emily Pelliccia.

The station’s atrium houses a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.

"This piece of steel actually has on it four places where if you look at it has 'FDNY' spray-painted on it or painted where when they were going through the debris and the destruction," said Pelliccia. "If they found a victim and could identify them, they would spray paint where it was, so they could kind of mark the spot."

The Gordonsville Volunteer Fire Company chief confirmed there is another piece of steel from the World Trade Center displayed in front of the fire company.

At the Fontaine Fire Station’s Atrium, there is also a piece of a facing stone from the exterior walls of the Pentagon and a stone from the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed.

“I think that what is really powerful about these artifacts and this space is if we think back to that time and everybody can probably remember where they were, it was one of those days in history,” said Pelliccia. "I hope that is what this space can do for others is help them to really go back to that period and that day and think about what it meant for them.”

A display case filled with artifacts also sits in the atrium.

The display case houses personal items from various people including a letter from a city social worker's father.

"Her dad was in the Pentagon during the whole event and had to stay in the Pentagon to run the facility and he wrote her a letter while this was all happening," said Pelliccia. "She actually gave us a copy of the letter and it’s in there.”

Pelliccia says people can donate personal items from that day to have them on display at the station’s atrium.

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