The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created in honor of a fallen firefighter who died on Sept. 11, 2001. This nonprofit organization has worked to create the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit as a means of sharing the events of 9/11 with those Americans unable to travel to New York City. They strive to ensure that Americans do not forget about the events of that historic date in our history.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation emphasizes the importance of remembrance, especially as we move farther from the actual events of Sept. 11, 2001. Since more and more of our citizens were very young or not yet born when this happened, keeping that history alive is crucial.
From Oct. 22-24, this unique traveling exhibit will be on hand at Farristown Middle School in Berea.
Jenny Julian, Dayna Lowe and Christy Duncan, of the GEAR-UP program have been strongly involved in the planning of bringing this exhibit to Berea. Julian stated that Farristown Middle School Principal Angie Alexander had been instrumental as well.
Julian explained that one of the primary goals of GEAR-UP is to help students gain civic understanding and increase students' involvement in the community.
"We feel strongly that providing our students with this amazing opportunity will help achieve this goal," she said. "We have also had wonderful financial support from business partners in our community and we are extremely grateful to them for helping make this event possible."
The 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit is set to arrive in Berea on Oct. 22. The 53-foot tractor-trailer will expand to become a 1,000-square-foot exhibit of 9/11 memorabilia. Around noon, the exhibit will be escorted through town, settling at Farristown Middle School. Students will have the opportunity to tour through the exhibit during school hours on Wednesday, Oct. 23 and Thursday, Oct. 24. In addition to school tours, the exhibit will be open for free public tours from 5-7 p.m on both of those dates.
"The tour guides are actual NYC firefighters who were either on site the day of 9/11 or helped with cleanup afterwards. So, I think that will be pretty impactful," noted Julian.
Other items students and visitors will be able to see include various artifacts. A few of these are "pieces of steel beams from the World Trade Center, first responder radio recordings and the bunker coat of one of the fallen firefighters," Julian said.
Students at Farristown will participate in an opening assembly on Wednesday morning at 8:30.
"Two New York City firefighters (they will also serve as the tour guides) will be there to speak. We are also especially honored to have a cousin of Stephen Siller, Catherine Christman, speak. They will discuss true superheroes with the students," said Julian.
To date, over 350,000 visitors have experienced the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit through its trips to all fifty states and Canada.
"This is the first time the exhibit has ever been hosted in the state of Kentucky. So, we are very excited to be able to bring it to our community," Julian said.