Lines were long for the final Canada Remembers Our Heroes Air Show and none were longer than for the Never Forget Tunnel of Towers exhibit.
Thousands of people streamed through the Sept. 11, 2001 exhibit at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway over the weekend.
The air show was the traveling exhibit’s Canadian and international debut and was organized in part by the Wawa Shriners of Saskatchewan.
“We brought a little bit of New York City to here,” Memebership chairman Bob Keep said. “The only other way (people) are going to see anything close is right to ground zero.”
With local emergency responders and military on hand at the show, Keep said it was important to honour international members as well.
Volunteer Herb Penner guides people through the exhibit, but he was also captain of fire engine 42 in Bronx on that fateful September day.
“I was there the first day, I was there the last day,” Penner said.
Though he hasn’t been back to New York City since the towers fell, Penner said touring with the exhibit is important to him.
“The ‘never forget’ is for people never to forget what happened and it seems like when we forget what happened, history repeats itself and I don’t want that to happen here or anywhere,” he said.
Thousands of people lined up to see the Tunnel of Towers exhibit at the Canada Remembers Our Heroes air show. Lasia Kretzel/News Talk Radio
His son, also a firefighter, joined him at the air show.
Penner said he knew people were taking lessons away with them from the exhibit because of their silence and tears.
Kelly Bararuk was was eager to shake Penner’s hand after coming out of the exhibit. Originally from Moose Jaw, he was attending post secondary in New York City when the towers fell.
“It was a Tuesday and I have classes off that day and usually we would take off and go tour around the city but that day because of mishaps we didn’t end up going down,” he said, adding the exhibit brings back hard memories. “It just brings back chills and goosebumps of the day.”
Bararuk said this was his first time at the air show and was sad to hear it will likely also be his last.
“It’s sad that it’s going to be the last but I hope that they find some alternative way that they can show their true remembrance,” he said.
The Tunnel of Towers stayed open long after the air show had finished for the day on Saturday but Penner said he was happy to wait for everyone in line to go through.
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