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New Central Coast 9/11 memorial lets you touch history

In honor of 9/11, the City of San Luis Obispo is dedicating a recently completed World Trade Center memorial at Fire Station No. 1 Friday.

Credit San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Dept.

The memorial honors the first responders who lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks.

In the center, lies a large beam from one of the original twin towers. It's surrounded by 403 metal rods, one for each responder who perished-- red for firefighters and black for police.

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans were born since the attacks. San Luis Obispo Fire Chief Garrett Olsen said this serves as reminder for current and future generations.

He said the artist, Kathleen Caricof, researched the beam's original orientation and maintained that in the art.

"She created a memorial where people literally have the opportunity to put their hands on history," said Olsen. "Many have been to memorials at Pearl Harbor and other memorials that aren't as intimate of an experience, in terms of literally a tactile experience."

Those visiting the memorial have the opportunity to touch the beam, which rests horizontally at standing height.

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