Home News Local News Traveling 9/11 exhibit to stop in Artesia

Traveling 9/11 exhibit to stop in Artesia

The 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit sits in the parking lot of the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday afternoon. At 1 p.m. Thursday, area law enforcement and fire departments will escort the truck to Artesia, where the exhibit will be on display free to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Monday. (Juno Ogle Photo)

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A traveling 9/11 memorial will make its first appearance in New Mexico this weekend in Artesia in hopes of bringing more awareness of the terrorist attacks to generations that don’t remember that day nearly 20 years ago.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit will be open to the public from 10 am. to 4 p.m. Friday through Monday at the Bulldog Bowl, 406 S. 16th St. in Artesia.

An 83-foot trailer transforms into the 1,100 square-foot exhibit that features steel and aluminum facade from the World Trade Center towers, radio transmissions from first responders and items found in the rubble of the towers.

Artesia 9/11 Memorial Inc. is the organizer bringing the exhibit to town with support from other local nonprofit groups, Artesia Fire Chief Kevin Hope said. The memorial group formed just last year from the fire department’s annual 9/11 memorial golf tournament.

Debbie Brazas, administrative assistant at the fire department and secretary of Artesia 9/11 Memorial Inc., suggested the group try to bring the exhibit to Artesia, Hope said.

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“They’ve been pretty much all over the United States, but never in New Mexico, so we contacted them. Ideally being the 20th anniversary of 9/11 we wanted to get close to that date, but they were booked, so this was the only date that we could get this year,” he said.

The truck and trailer, which arrived Wednesday in Roswell, will be escorted by multiple law enforcement agencies and fire departments at 1 p.m. Thursday from the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office to Artesia.

An opening ceremony for the exhibit will be at 9 a.m. Friday at the Bulldog Bowl and will include a 21-gun salute from the New Mexico State Police and an honor guard from the U.S. Border Patrol. Brazas will speak.

During the exhibit’s stay, free guided tours will be given by firefighters from the New York City Fire Department, who will share their perspective on that day and the days that followed.

Hope said the purpose of bringing the exhibit to Artesia is to raise awareness of an event that younger people today don’t know much about.

“You kind of forget about it, but there’s younger generations that don’t even know what happened,” he said.

“There’s maybe a snippet in a history book that tells basically of that day and gives a brief description, but they don’t really know and understand the sacrifice and the loss of life that day,” Hope said.

He said the memorial organization board thought the exhibit could also help bring the community together.

“In the times that we’ve been through in the last year, a little remembrance, a little unity and a little patriotism certainly can’t hurt these days,” he said.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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