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9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit Comes to Rock Island

Where were you on 9/11?

I was 12 years old, a few weeks into seventh grade. I got to my health class and noticed the TV was turned on. The teacher was standing in front of it, his hand at his mouth. Footage of the attacks. The planes crashing. The towers falling.

I remember the bus ride home was silent. As students were dropped off at their stops, their parents rushed out to meet them, cheeks wet.

By most accounts, I was still a child. I was shaken throughout the day – the week, the month, the year – but didn’t comprehend the attacks the same way an adult did.

Now that I’ve grown, I approach the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with a new set of eyes, experiences and emotions.

I now know the story of Stephen Gerald Siller, one of the hundreds of FDNY firefighters who lost his life while saving others on 9/11. He was 34 years old.

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