People in the U.S. are giving the town of Gander parts of the buildings that were destroyed in attacks in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

The gift is meant to show appreciation for how displaced airline passengers were treated in central Newfoundland after the tragedy.

Gander Mayor Claude Elliot unwrapped the first piece of steel from the World Trade Centre to arrive in central Newfoundland Tuesday. It is one of two pieces donated to the town.

The gift was the idea of a Long Island man who hosted a team of young basketball players from Gander late last year.

"I just can't believe it's here. I keep looking at it and I can't believe that we did get it," said Oswald Fudge, who is with the central Newfoundland basketball team that went to New York State in 2010.

A second piece of steel will be officially presented to the town during 10th anniversary ceremonies in September.

Thirty-nine airliners carrying 6,500 passengers were diverted to Gander when North American airspace was shut down following terrorist attacks that crashed hijacked planes into New York City, the Pentagon, in Virginia, and Pennsylvania.