NEW ORLEANS — After the 9/11 attacks, the people of Louisiana came together to help the first responders who lost so much on that terrible day.
A new fire truck started its journey from the Superdome at a Saints game, stopped at the White House and then ended up at a fire station in New York.
Now the state fire marshal has a new journey in mind.
They want to house The Spirit of Louisiana in a glass enclosure, near the steel beam from the twin towers and create a museum with lots of memorabilia, where young people, who weren't even born before 9/11, can learn history.
If the Spirit of Louisiana fire truck could talk, she would tell you how she was born from love and caring, and how her 18 years have been dedicated to service.
In just three months after 9/11, the people of Louisiana opened their hearts and piggy banks, and penny-by-penny, dollar-by-dollar, the fully equipped truck was built and delivered to New York City, a city that watched 343 firefighters give their lives on that terrible day, along with five-to-six dozen destroyed fire trucks.
"We raised $1.1 million. We did boot shakes at Saints games, LSU games, schools had their own fundraisers. I mean, this was a all hands on deck," remembers Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning.
Chief Browning helped deliver the Christmas present after the heartache.
"We're in the elevator of the hotel, we're on the street in Times Square, and people are coming thanking us for the truck. It's like the millions of people in New York, they all knew we were coming," he said. "That was just amazing to me."
Four years later, Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and the New York fire chief called.
"And says, 'Y'all need anything?' And we said, 'We need help. We need people.' And he said, 'Let me talk to the mayor.' Within about four hours he calls back and says, 'We're sending you 300 New York City firefighters,'" Browning remembered.
And with them, The Spirit of Louisiana came back to Louisiana. But seven years later in 2012, she was needed again in New York as Hurricane Sandy destroyed fire trucks on Long Island.
Now, Chief Browning is asking for everyone to rally behind the Spirit of Louisiana again. This time, to memorialize her service.
If you'd like to donate to the new museum, visit their GoFundMe Page here.