9/11 exhibit coming to Salem mallBy CHRIS GAROFOLO
Union Leader Correspondent
September 13. 2017 11:55PM
SALEM - A memorial exhibit honoring a New York City firefighter who died on Sept. 11, 2001, will make its first trip to New Hampshire later this month.
The Mall at Rockingham Park will host the Sillers Tunnels to Towers 9/11 Memorial Exhibit from Sept. 19-23, which features four retired members of the Fire Department of New York who serve as curators.
The exhibit is free to enter and is open to the public during the following dates and times:
• Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 1 to 6 p.m.
• Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 3 to 6 p.m.
• Thursday, Sept. 21, from 1 to 6 p.m.
• Friday, Sept. 22, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Saturday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The exhibit, sponsored locally by the Ernest W. Young American Legion Post No. 63 in Salem, is a high-tech, 53-foot tractor-trailer unfolding into three sections totaling 1,100 square feet. The first room shares the history of the World Trade Center towers, then the following demonstrations include artifacts from Sept. 11, 2001, including actual steel beams from the towers, a documentary video and recordings of first-responder radio transmissions.
FDNY firefighters carry out interactive guided tours, providing firsthand accounts of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City and the immediate aftermath.
“It is very powerful, we tell the story of the first responders on 9/11,” said Lisa Reiss, curator of the Staten Island, N.Y.-based mobile exhibit.
“This is not about terrorism, it's about the heroes on that day,” she added. “We built it as an education tool and our focus was primarily schools and those kinds of scenarios. Toward the end of 2014 and into 2015 we became much more aware of other possibilities to put (the exhibit) in front of more people.”
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation launched the mobile exhibit in 2013 as a tribute to those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. It is named after Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter who rushed on foot through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel with 60 pounds of gear on his back to help in the recovery efforts.
Reiss said Siller was united with his squad at the south tower after he was supposed to meet up with his brothers for a round of golf on that fateful day.
“At 9:59 that morning, that south tower came down,” she said.
While this is the first time it has appeared in New Hampshire, the exhibit has traveled to 35 states and has had attracted more than 250,000 viewers.