ATOKA, Oklahoma (KTEN) — In 2002, in the heart of Oklahoma, an act of compassion grew from classrooms. 

Students used their pocket change to help build a fire truck for the firefighters of New York City in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Now, the Spirit of Oklahoma is on its way back home.

The mission to get the rescue truck back and restored began when Calera Fire Department Chief Brian Norton scrolled through Facebook.

"It served FDNY for about 15 to 18 years before it was retired," he said. "It got surplused, forgotten about, and a guy in Massachusetts bought it. He put it on Facebook, and that's where we found it."

The Spirit of Oklahoma symbolizes the day the Sooner and Empire states were tied together forever through tragedy.

Using donated lunch money and pocket change, Oklahoman students raised what they had for the rescue vehicle back in 2002.

"The City of New York and Oklahoma Fire Service, brought together by two separate terrorist attacks," said Caney Fire Department Chief Michael Harkey. "My kids helped raise money for this when they were in school, and to see it in full circle is really great."

It was given to the Fire Department of New York as a thank you, after many FDNY first responders traveled to Oklahoma in 1995 to help after the terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Ten of those New York first responders who helped Oklahoma lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks. Their names are inscribed on the side of The Spirit of Oklahoma.

After three years of being in the care of the Calera Fire Department, the truck that began in Oklahoma will be preserved in its home state at the Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum in Tulsa. 

"The history of it will live on, so the kids that raised the money can take their kids to see what they did," Norton said.