CLINTON — A mobile exhibit aimed at honoring those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, will be coming to Clinton this weekend.
The 9/11 Never Forget Memorial Exhibit is traveling to Clinton today and will be at the Wild Rose Casino and Resort on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The exhibit is put together by the Tunnel To Towers Foundation, which was established to honor Stephen Siller, a New York firefighter who lost his life Sept. 11, 2001. Siller was assigned to Brooklyn's Squad 1.
"He got off work that morning and was going to meet his brothers to play golf," Exhibit Field Manager Billy Puckett said. "And as he was driving home he heard of the attack. He turned around and went back to his firehouse, got his gear and was driving to the towers. And when he got to the Brooklyn battery tunnel the inbound side was closed because they were afraid of another truck bomb, car bomb, or something of that nature. So they closed it off. He got out of his truck, put his turnout gear on and he ran 3 1/2 miles to the towers. So that's where the tag Tunnel To Towers comes from."
Puckett said Siller's family in 2002 decided to start the foundation. They host a run every September during which participants retrace Siller's steps of what he did on Sept. 11, 2001. Five years ago, Tunnel To Towers decided to bring more attention to the foundation's work and started the exhibit. Puckett said the main reason for the exhibit is to bring it to individuals who would not have the opportunity to go to New York to see the memorials. He added that the exhibit is a way to bring a part of history to other parts of the country.
"That entire squad was lost, both the day shift and parts of the night shift, were lost," Puckett said. "And so that's when the family decided to honor Stephen as well as all the other 343 that passed away and started the foundation. We had our first run in September of 2002. Around 2,500 participated. And it retraced his exact steps from the Brooklyn battery tunnel to where the towers stood. And last year was just shy of 35,000. It happens the last Saturday and Sunday of September every year. It doesn't matter about the date. It's those standing days. Every branch of military is represented. Even our military in Iraq and Afghanistan hold a run for this foundation to honor those who were lost that day."
Wild Rose Casino Marketing Manager Jennifer Weaver said Clinton casino's sister property also had the exhibit and that Wild Rose Casino officials wanted to bring it to the eastern side of Iowa as well.
Exhibit trailer will be escorted around town; residents invited to show support
When the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit makes its way to the Wild Rose Casino and Resort today, it will be escorted through town by the Clinton Fire and Police departments to the Wild Rose Casino.
The 53-foot tractor trailer will begin its journey at 2 p.m. near the intersection of Third Avenue South and South Fourth Street. This will be near Central Fire Station. From there, it will be heading to Sixth Avenue South, then to South Riverview Drive. The trailer will stop for photos just south of the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre on Riverview Drive.
It will head west on Ninth Avenue North, to Second Street, to 23rd Avenue North, then to Roosevelt Street, where it will stop for photos in front of the Lyons Fire Station.
Finally, it will head to Main Avenue, to Millcreek Parkway, and will stop at the 9/11 Memorial. From there, it will head south on Millcreek Parkway and arrive at the Wild Rose Casino and Resort.
The community is encouraged to show up along the route and show support as the mobile exhibit makes its way through town.
Admission to this event is free and it will be open on June 1 through June 3 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the casino.
For more information about the exhibit, visit http://clinton.wildroseresorts.com/entertain/.