The Newgate Mall in Ogden recently welcomed a traveling 9/11 exhibit courtesy of nonprofit organization Honor365.
The exhibit commemorates the upcoming 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. It was first shown in Provo, Utah and will travel to 20 cities around the country, ending in New York on Sept. 12.
The exhibit opened Feb. 20 following a procession of local police and firefighters. Local law enforcement and Honor365 volunteers spoke to mall patrons in an opening event.
“This exhibit is intended to help heal. It’s intended to help unite our nation, and it’s intended to educate the rising generation,” said a representative from Honor365.
Melissa Sullivan, director of operations of Honor365, invited local first responders and community leaders to speak about their personal experiences regarding 9/11.
“We believe that the healing process can come with sharing your story,” she said.
Unity was a common theme among the event’s speakers. Ogden Councilman Richard Hyer spoke about the sense of togetherness he felt following the infamous terrorist attacks.
“We came together with such unity, with such patriotism as a country, with a common feeling of goodwill towards each other,” he said.
Attendees of the event left with a renewed sense of patriotism and remembrance of the attack’s victims.
“It was very moving, and it made all of us who were standing there go back to remember exactly where we were when the first plane hit on 9/11,” Robin Smith, a mall employee who attended the event, said.
Captain Timothy Scott of the Ogden Police Department describes “the greatest loss of life in law enforcement in the history of the United States” as a time of change and renewal.
Scott was six years into his career in law enforcement that fateful day in 2001. He described the change in law enforcement he witnessed as a pivotal point for the United States.
Prior to 9/11, there wasn’t as much interconnectivity between law enforcement agencies, and police personnel weren’t as watchful for domestic or foreign terrorists as they are now, according to Scott. In the past 20 years, everything has fundamentally changed, including how law enforcement works and how it investigates and looks out for potential threats.
Scott said the memorial is particularly poignant today, since the country is facing another crisis. The current wave of support for public safety officials reminds him of the massive amount of community support he and other officers experienced following 9/11.
“With COVID-19 and [the events of] 2020, there’s a lot of people that are just thanking and appreciating public safety and expressing that appreciation,” he said.
The exhibit was created by Daan van der Steijn, a 19-year-old from the Netherlands. According to Honor365’s website, he was inspired to create the exhibit after watching a documentary on Dutch television. He spent four years researching and replicating the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings in miniature.
Honor365 is an organization that serves veterans, first responders and their families. They focus on providing resources such as education, healthcare, employment and housing to achieve their goal of fewer suicides.
The exhibit will be available to visit at the Newgate Mall, located at 3651 Wall Avenue in Ogden, during regular mall hours through March 10.
To support Honor365 and the traveling exhibit, visit their website, honor365.org.