"9/11 Never Forget" mobile exhibit drawing big crowds - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

"9/11 Never Forget" mobile exhibit drawing big crowds

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

In just its second of seven days in Dubuque, the "9/11 Never Forget" mobile exhibit has been drawing big crowds.

"From noon to eight (Monday) it was constant," said John Buckner, one of the retired New York Firefighters leading tours through the exhibit.  "We barely had a break."

But they like it that way.  And the crowds certainly seem pleased with it, too.

Kayla Wienen brought Dawson Mussmann to the exhibit from Hills and Dales Residential Facility in Dubuque.  She says she was in 6th grade when 9/11 happened, and she said it was meaningful to share it with Mussmann.

"It meant a lot. I mean, I work with him everyday, and I love to keep educating him and for him to experience something I experienced as a kid, means more than it could mean to anybody," Wienen said.

Ken Ginter also found the experience very meaningful.

"It's very humbling. You know that people lost their lives in this, and it just makes you appreciate more what our firemen and that do for us," he said.

As for the men leading the tours?  They say it's just as meaningful to them.  They take the crowds through the exhibit which is housed in a 53-foot tractor trailer than folds out.  Inside they learn about the buildings, the attacks, and the aftermath of that day.  They can see real artifacts from the site, including steel from the beams of the Twin Towers.

"One thing I saw after 9/11 was the outpouring of love we got from people all over the country. I mean, firemen came from everywhere, people came to hand out food, hand out water. People couldn't do enough for us. And since then we try to give back, in a lot of ways. And as firemen we can volunteer, Siller foundation, come out here and try and help these veterans," Buckner said.

The exhibit is free and open to the public, but donations are welcomed.  They go to the Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundations.  It's in honor of firefighter Siller, who, blocked by traffic, ran from a tunnel to the towers, only to die when the towers collapsed.

The money they collect goes to building homes for heroes--homes for veterans who return from the Iraq and Afghan wars as amputees.

For more information on the foundation and the exhibit, visit http://tunnel2towers.org/.

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