ARNOLD, MO. - It has been more than 15 years since the attacks on 9/11 and people are continuing to pay tribute to the first responders who sacrificed their lives that day.
The 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit opened to the public on Tuesday morning at Jefferson College. It's the first time it has reached the St. Louis area. Visitors lined up the moment after it opened to get a look inside.
And what better way to learn about what happened on 9/11 than by hearing stories straight from New York firefighters who were at Ground Zero that historic day. A group of firefighters traveled from New York to Arnold to guide families and school groups through the exhibit.
"I got caught under the north tower," New York firefighter Tim Duffy said. "I was buried under the north tower. I'm one of the lucky ones."
"To actually be choking on the dust, to be going through the rubble not just the day it happened but the days afterwards and have to deal with that, that's what makes these guys true heroes," Jefferson College president Raymond Cummiskey said.
The exhibit features a variety of artifacts and documentaries.
"It is a powerful experience to come out and that was the whole purpose," said Betty Boyer, who helped bring the exhibit to the college campus.
"I do feel that we have a responsibility to pass it on and educate our youth about what happened," she said. "This is as close as a lot of us will get. You know, we won't get an opportunity to visit New York and see the memorial that's there."
Duffy says being in the St. Louis area is meaningful to the firefighters, too.
"It's just phenomenal and it's heartwarming to come out to middle America and see that people haven't forgotten," he said.
The 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit is free and open to the public until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4. It will also be open Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.