EXCLUSIVE: NJ high school receives a piece of history ahead of 9/11 anniversary

CEDAR GROVE, N.J. — A 9/11 memorial in Cedar Grove, New Jersey is receiving a permanent addition.

Now in its fourth year, Cedar Grove Waves places 2,977 flags on the front lawn of Cedar Grove High School — one for every person killed in the September 11th attacks.

The flags are on display for only a few weeks, but part of the memorial will now stay out year round.

On Friday, the high school received a four-foot piece of steel from the World Trade Center, which was permanently installed outside the high school auditorium.

The piece of history allows Cedar Grove Waves to expand, without compromising the dignity of the project, which attracts worldwide attention every year.

"We get people from other countries who will come and what they do is, they actually FaceTime or Skype the flag of the person that they knew to the other country," explained David Schoner, who came up with the idea for Waves after seeing a similar installation at Pepperdine University.

"There's almost an uncomfortableness about it because it brings you so close to those moments," said Cedar Grove superintendent Michael Fetherman.

On Tuesday morning, all students at Cedar Grove High School will gather in front of the school, making speeches and observing a moment of silent at the time each attack happened.

It gives teachers an even more powerful way to teach students about 9/11, since most were born after the attacks.

"In society today, we tend to forget," said Cedar Grove High School history teacher Steve Gallagher.

"It's like a toothache. You forget it after it doesn't bother you anymore, but this is not something you should forget."

"I just want the students to walk away, maybe think about it, maybe take a moment and just not to forget," said Schoner.

Cedar Grove Waves is currently open, but all the flags will not be in place until Tuesday morning. Waves will be on display until September 23rd.