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Since 9/11, Tunnel to Towers Foundation has been helping America’s heroes by providing mortgage-free homes to Gold Star and fallen first responder families with young children and building specially adapted smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans and first responders. / Laura Austin Photo

Tunnel to Towers comes to Desert Empire Fair


Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit

On October 18, 2023, the Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit arrived at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is committed to ensuring that we NEVER FORGET what happened on  September 11th, 2001.

Since 2013, the Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit has traveled the country, educating Americans about what happened that day.

Tours are conducted by retired New York City Firefighters who responded on September 11, 2001. They share their stories of what happened that day and the days after, bringing history to life for those who were born after September 11th or are too young to remember it.

The 83-foot tractor-trailer transforms into a 1,100 square-foot exhibit, which features World Trade Center Steel, an aluminum façade from the buildings, radio transmissions from first responders, and items found in the rubble after the Twin Towers collapsed.

Chip Holloway, CEO of the Desert Empire Fair, worked for several years to bring the Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit  to the Ridgecrest Area. Chip said, “When I found out about the museum at a fair conference in 2015, I immediately thought it would be a great compliment to our annual Parade of 1000 Flags. However, being based in Connecticut, it was not on the West Coast then. I continued to pursue it at every conference since then. At a conference I rarely go to, the crew remembered me and called me over to say they would be on the West Coast the following year. Although I never intended for it to be part of the fair, the timing just worked out that way.”

“I believe there is no community in America that has tried harder to make sure that the tragedy of 9-11 will never be forgotten. Having a chance to bring this historic exhibit to Ridgecrest is something I couldn’t pass up. We have a generation that only knows about that day due to history books. I believe giving everyone a chance to see real artifacts, meet first responders who were there, and see the true sacrifice of so many will reinforce the love and honor for our country that the people of Ridgecrest have always demonstrated,” says Holloway.

A short ceremony took place on Thursday, October 19, 2023, recognizing the heroic efforts of the Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Crew. City of Ridgecrest leadership, China Lake leadership, Desert Empire Fairgrounds staff and leadership, and various other community members were in attendance.

The exhibit will be open to the public on Friday, October 20, 2023, from 1-9 pm.

Tunnel to Towers Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that we Never Forget the legacy of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit is instrumental in bringing the events of that day to life for those who were born after the events of that tragic day.