9/11 tribute on Main

Fire trucks escort Never Forget mobile exhibit

Photo by Jenny Kirk The 9/11 Never Forget traveling exhibit rolled into Marshall on Thursday, escorted by area firefighters down East College Drive, onto Main Street, to Memorial Park and eventually to the Lyon County Fairgrounds.

MARSHALL — With sirens blaring, local firefighters escorted a traveling 9/11 exhibit trailer into and around Marshall on Thursday morning.

The 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit weaved its way through some of the main streets in Marshall, making a stop at Memorial Park before settling in at its final destination — the Lyon County Fairgrounds. An educational display featuring artifacts and photos from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York will be available for viewing today, Saturday and Sunday.

“When you come to the fair and see it opened up, it is incredible,” trailer driver Bill Puckett said. “It’s an honorable thing to be able to do this. We lost 343 firemen that day — and we’ve lost 176 since then.”

Puckett thanked Marshall Fire Chief Marc Klaith for putting the escort together.

“It’s very nice,” Puckett said. “Marc’s done a good job of getting everybody together.”

Klaith organized the effort along with fair board representatives Deloris Richards and Wally Wichmann. Klaith added that every town in Lyon County participated in the escort.

“The community has been very supportive,” Klaith said. “I’ve even had local citizens call me and offer to pay for meals for the firefighters. People have also donated money.”

Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes greeted the 9/11 Never Forget traveling exhibit personnel — though the responders who were at Ground Zero following the attacks were not expected to arrive until Thursday evening — at Memorial Park.

“This is impressive,” Byrnes said. “We’re fortunate to have this here.”

Countless people lined the streets to witness the escort, while a good number of others gave a warm welcome at Memorial Park. Representatives from Lyon County Fire Department Mutual Aid Association, city of Marshall and Monsanto showed the utmost respect.

“About 95 percent (of the New York firemen who responded) are retired now,” Puckett said. “There’s a lieutenant and a chief still active.”

Though it’s been more than 15 years, Puckett, a Texas native, said people should not forget what happened that day.

“If you don’t keep history alive, it will repeat itself,” he said.

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