9/11 memorial exhibit coming to Elkhart May 22-23

ELKHART, Ind. -- Resident of Elkhart and surrounding communities will have a chance to experience the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit that features artifacts from the World Trade Center and guided tours from FDNY Firefighters who responded to Ground Zero on September 11, 2001.

The exhibit, which is put on by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, will arrive in Elkhart with a motorcade on May 21.

"The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is committed to ensuring that we never forget what happened on September 11, 2001," the organization said. "Since 2013, the Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit has traveled the country educating Americans about what happened that day."

According to organizers, the 83-foot tractor-trailer transforms into a 1,100 square foot exhibit which features World Trade Center steel, an aluminum façade from the buildings, radio transmissions from first responders, and items found in the rubble after the Twin Towers collapsed.

Recently, the exhibit was expanded with even more artifacts, and Elkhart is one of the first cities to experience the brand-new exhibit. It has been nearly a decade since the exhibit last visited the area.

"Tours are conducted by retired New York City Firefighters who responded on September 11, 2001," organizers said. "They share their stories of what happened that day and the days after, bringing history to life for those who were born after September 11th or are too young to remember it."

Patrick Industries, Inc., which has its headquarters in Elkhart, is sponsoring the exhibit

"Patrick is excited to be partnering with Tunnel to Towers to bring the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit to Elkhart," said Patrick President Jeff Rodino. "This powerful tribute will leave a lasting impression, and I am thrilled that Elkhart will be one of the first cities to experience the new exhibit. This moving memorial is an opportunity for our community to reflect, remember, and learn."

The opening ceremony will be at 11 a.m. on May 22 and will feature a performance of the National Anthem by singer-songwriter Julia James and speeches from:

  • Mayor Rod Roberson, City of Elkhart
  • Chief Rodney Dale, City of Elkhart Fire
  • Lieutenant Pat Clancy, FDNY (Retired)

“Patrick Industries has always been such a good corporate citizen of Elkhart,” said Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson. “We are so grateful to the Patrick team for partnering with Tunnel to Towers to bring this opportunity for education and remembrance to Elkhart.”

The exhibit will be open to the public on May 22 and 23 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The Opening Ceremony will be at 240 E. Jackson Blvd northeast parking lot, east of Beacon Health and Aquatic Center and the exhibit will likely stay at that location while it is in town. 

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