You could see JoAnn Meehan flinch slightly when township employees lugged the four-foot rusted piece of steel into the meeting room.
The bent piece of metal came from one of the World Trade Center towers lost in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Meehan and her husband Thomas J. Meehan III were instrumental in helping Berkeley to obtain obtaining the artifact from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Mayor Jason J. Varano said.
"The township had some difficulty in trying to get a piece of steel," the mayor said.
For the Meehans, that dark day nearly 10 years ago was the day their family changed forever.
Their beloved 26-year-old daughter Colleen Meehan Barkow died on the 103rd floor in the North Tower. She worked as a facilities director for Cantor Fitzgerald. There was no way out for Colleen or any of her fellow workers.
And the Meehans are determined to do as much as possible to make sure Americans don't forget all those who were lost.
"I feel very honored we were able to help in some way in getting the steel to Berkeley Township," Tom Meehan said in a recent interview. "So many communities have sought to have a piece. It's a tangible item everyone just connects with and feels all the emotions they felt on that horrible day."
The steel piece is being kept in an undisclosed location in the township, to ensure its safety until it's dedicated at Berkeley Pride Day on Sept. 10.
The piece will be secured with rebar and concrete in front of the Sept. 11 memorial at Veterans Park, Varano and township special events planner David Shick said.
The Meehans met Varano at a 9-11 memorial service in Holiday City last year. They crossed paths with him again at a Caretakers of Ocean County dinner this spring and Varano mentioned the problems the township was having trying to procure a piece of WTC steel.
So the Meehans stepped into action, made some calls and wrote some letters. It worked.
The Meehans lived in Carteret back on Sept. 11, 2001. They moved to the Holiday Heights section of the township about five years ago.
The New York City Medical Examiner's Office recovered some of Colleen's remains. The Meehans were told she died of smoke inhalation. Also recovered were Colleen's engagement and wedding rings, and a ring her husband had given her in advance of their first wedding anniverary on Sept. 16, 2001.
Colleen's brother Daryl, the Meehan's only surviving child, has been selected to be a reader at this year's 9-11 memorial service in New York City, JoAnn said.
Both JoAnn and Tom Meehan wear stainless steel bracelets on their left wrists. Enscribed are the words "Colleen Meehan Barkow, WTC." They never take them off.
And don't ask them about closure.
"There isn't any," JoAnn Meehan says.
Berkeley Patch plans another story on the Meehans closer to Sept. 11.