YORBA LINDA, California — Hundreds attended a solemn 9/11 service Monday at the Nixon library in California, where a fire truck and mangled steel from the Twin Towers arrived to mark the anniversary.

The foundation of the late former president Richard Nixon is hosting a series of events ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, including an address by former vice president Dick Cheney on Thursday.

A fire truck which survived the attacks, as well as 20 tons of steel from Ground Zero, arrived in a motorcade at the Nixon center in Yorba Linda, southeast of Los Angeles.

"We are all bombarded by images from that day," said Dennis Stout, chairman of the Freedom?s Flame Memorial Foundation, based in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

"But to be able to reach out and touch this piece of steel, it brings it home in a way that I?ve seen touch thousands of people across this country," he added.

The surprise attacks -- in which Al-Qaeda militants hijacked passenger planes and crashed them into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington -- killed nearly 3,000 people.