Just one month before the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit will be open in Newton County for two days.
The 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit will be in Goodland Aug.12 and 13 and it is free to the public.
The exhibit will be at Foster Park in Goodland in conjunction with the Goodstock: Operation Restoring Hope Music Festival, which will take place Aug. 13.
“This year will be the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and the majority of people that the Mary T. Klinker Center is helping now are post 9/11 veterans,” said Dillon Hall. “I thought it was important to bring something like this to Goodstock because there are a lot of people in the area who will never get the chance to go to New York to see the 9/11 Memorial. It will be an educational experience for everyone and something that needs to be remembered.”
On Aug. 11, the mobile exhibit will be escorted through Newton County by a parade of law enforcement and emergency personnel from the county along with state police and numerous motorcycle organizations.
The staging area for the escort is at the former IGA location in Roselawn. The tentative schedule calls for the escort to leave Roselawn around 3 p.m. CST and head into Lake Village, then to Morocco, Brook, Kentland and arrive in Goodland. Around 4:45 p.m. a welcoming ceremony will take place at Foster Park in Goodland.
“We are hoping that it will be quite a sight as the escort makes it way through Newton County,” said Ed Jamieson. This is the type of an event that may never happen again in Newton County.
The mobile exhibit is part of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which the Siller Family started to honor the memory of their brother, Stephen, a New York City firefighter (FDNY) who lost his life on September 11, 2001, after strapping on his gear and running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers.
A lot of the money from the foundation goes to the charity Building for America’s Bravest and recently the foundation donated money to families of the fallen Dallas police officers.
The 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit is a tool the foundation uses to educate America’s youth about the historic events of that day. The 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit is a high-tech, 53-foot tractor- trailer, which unfolds into a 1,000 square foot exhibit that provides interactive education; including artifacts such as steel beams from the towers, documentary videos and recordings of first responder radio transmissions. Entrance into the exhibit is always free of charge.
While the exhibit is free to enter there are memorabilia and other items for sale that visitors can purchase.
After seeing the article about Goodstock on the Newton County Enterprise website, the foundation has decided to donate 50 percent of any profits from the weekend to the Mary T. Klinker Veteran Center.
The exhibit will be open to the public Aug. 12 and 13 from 1 to 7 p.m. both days. However, it will open early Aug. 12 to allow for South Newton Elementary students to tour it.
To make sure the exhibit cam be viewed by all county residents interested, Newton County Economic Development Director Tim Myers helped coordinate a bus pickups for senior citizens.
The Newton County Community Service will donate the use of their buses and pickups will be at the Generation Center in Roselawn, the NCCS office in Morocco and the libraries in Lake Village, Morocco, Roselawn, and Kentland.
“I think having the buses available is extremely important as we are trying to make sure that no one is forgotten and all can take part in this event.”
Another key feature of the mobile exhibit is that there will be two retired New York firefighters available to give tours, who were at Ground Zero during the 9/11 attacks.