Fifteen years ago, 9/11 changed the lives of people across the nation. The impact of the event was not exclusive to New York, Washington D.C., or Pennsylvania. It resounded in every American heart, uniting us in strength and in sorrow. Boyd Gaming knows the importance of remembrance and wanted to bring the Never Forget 9/11 Mobile Exhibit to the Northwest Indiana community at the Blue Chip Casino.
They did this through the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a group that builds smart homes for severely disabled veterans. One of the ways they raise money for their projects is through traveling mobile memorial museum about the Twin Towers attacks on 9/11. They display artifacts, have firemen from the NYFD talk to attendees, and collect donations.
Boyd Gaming, owner of Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, invited them to a few different locations in the midwest.
“It’s all about coming together,” said Blue Chip’s Marketing Manager, Joel Giannetti. “There was a big unity in the United States after 9/11, so I think it’s a good event for the community. I’m proud of our company for bringing it here.”
Mayor Ron Meer expressed pride in the Blue Chip Casino as well.
“It’s significant,” he said. “It’s still really emotional to go through the museum now and see some of the pictures and things that you haven’t reflected on in a while. History is very important to any country or culture. I think that it has a significance [for people] in that they do understand a little bit more of why we’re at where we’re at today and what’s going on in the world today.”
Lief Erickson, Vice President and General Manager of Blue Chip Casino, said, “Anybody that was a teenager or above back then is going to have a pretty vivid memory of it. And it really did change the world. I don’t think we want that to get lost as people get older and start to pass on. It’s important that this gets passed down to the next generation.”
Joan Galinowski was teaching the next generation when the Twin Towers were struck. Her school did not have much technology so the teachers found out a little at a time.
“The next day,” she said, “The kids came back in and it was hard to explain to little seven years olds exactly what was going on and why all this happened. Yet it is important that they know. We need to remember.
She continued, “I’m a firm believer that if you don’t study history and if you don’t understand it, then its bound to be repeated.”
The 9/11 Memorial will be teaching students and citizens of all ages all week at the Blue Chip Casino.
“It’s an education on it,” said Gianetti. “You don’t want them to forget. For them to be here, seeing the firefighters that were involved, it’s a great story. It’s a great story to tell, it’s part of American History.”
One of those firemen, Randy Lotz, lost 343 brothers during the terrorist attack. He travels with the 9/11 memorial to give his fallen comrades a voice.
“The memorial is important in a few ways,” he said. “Awareness: to make young people who might not know what actually happened on that particular day, they can come out and see what devastation was done. It’s a way of letting people know that terror attacks are not gone.”
Lotz’ second reasoning for the memorial’s importance is to inform people about the Tunnels to Towers Foundation. They have a race every year that is spread throughout our country and into Europe. They support an entire demographic of people who have sacrificed their lives and their well being to defend ours.
“When I see this,” said Mayor Meer of the collection of artifacts surrounded by a collection of citizens showing respect, “It reminds me of how united we are and how united we can be in the United States.”
For more information on the Never Forget 9/11 Mobile Exhibit, click here.
Michigan City, IN 46360
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