NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new traveling exhibit containing artifacts and stories from 9/11 will be hitting the road in an effort to ensure the nation never forgets the terror and the heroism of that day.
“Ground zero is the burial place for my brother, yet I think that not everyone can go to New York and to ground zero and visit the memorial there. So we felt it was vitally important, once again, that we carry the message, that we never forget,” Frank Siller said.
Siller’s brother, Stephen, was a firefighter who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel in his gear to race into the burning towers.
As CBS 2′s Maurice DuBois reported, the mobile exhibit was built on an expandable 53-foot trailer that houses over a 1,000 feet of museum space.
The exhibit was designed to highlight the heroic efforts of the first responders. One of the main goals is to teach schoolchildren about the attacks.
“At the time, he was only 2 when it happened. So he has no idea,” one mother at the exhibit said. “This is a good thing.”
“A lot of young kids don’t even know. You bring them here and you tell them the story. It changed the world, that day has changed the world,” Siller said.
Being mobile allows the exhibit to reach more people all across the country. It’s already made stops at Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Hurricanes games.
The exhibit contains one-of-a-kind artifacts offering an inside look at what happened on Sept. 11, 2001.
There are audio recordings of the last known transmissions from firefighters shortly before the South Tower collapsed.
The rolling exhibit also includes a bronze sculpture of Stephen Siller and pieces of steel from the World Trade Center towers.
“This is a very interesting piece and to me, it’s the most poignant piece in the exhibit — welded in New York for the 10th anniversary,” one man said.
Others who took in the mobile exhibit said it’s a moving experience.
“I would encourage anybody who has an opportunity to come down and visit this,” a visitor said.
“It puts the whole day in proper perspective by going through this first and understanding the freedoms we have,” another man added.
“I’m glad to see this exhibit. There can’t be enough of this. We need to see more of it and remind people what happened and why we are a nation of free people,” a man said.
The exhibit opens to the public on Sunday at the corner of Murray and West streets in lower Manhattan.
CBS 2 Is your official station for the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Run. Tune in on Sunday for special coverage beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Siller’s Story Has Worldwide Reach
Service members in Afghanistan have also taken part in a “Tunnel To Towers” tribute run of their own, CBS 2′s Dubois reported.
Singing policeman Danny Rodrigues kicked off the run, which included 750 military members and civilian contractors, with a performance of God Bless America.
The race took place on Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar where participants raised $5,000 for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
“Everybody does fun runs. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something very meaningful. We looked it up on the internet and I said ‘that’s it!’ that is the run I want to do. It’s meaningful, it’s about the firemen who dedicate their lives to save the lives of others,” Sgt. Andrews-Schimillia said.
It was the fourth ever Tunnel to Towers race held in Afghanistan. Dozens of firefighters ran in full gear as well as a pair of bomb techs who finished the race in bomb disposal suits which weigh over 90-lbs.
The start and finish banners for the race were the same ones used in New York city.
For military members from the New York area the story of Stephen Siller took on a special meaning.
“I’m from New York City. I’m from Staten Island. So, having the memory of Steven Siller alive and well meant a lot to me and it was just very moving being a part of that,” Captain Hill said.
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