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9/11 exhibit begins 20th anniversary nationwide tour in Provo

PROVO, Utah – 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of a day that changed the world — the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

An exhibit that honors those who lost their lives that day started a nationwide tour Friday morning in Provo.

People go to the mall for many reasons. They might look for a good sale, visit the food court, or just catch a new movie. 

However, Ryan Waycasy went to Provo Towne Center Friday morning to remember. 

“I do remember where I was,” he said. “I remember I was at work. Nobody could pry the radio away from me because I was listening to what was going on.” 

Waycasy wasn’t a firefighter on 9/11, but when he saw the brotherhood, courage and heroics of firefighters on that day, he decided it’s what he wanted to do. 

A few years later he joined the Provo Fire Department. 

“That started that fire inside me to get to where I’m at today and to be a fireman to represent for those who have lost their lives,” said Waycasy. 

When he heard a 9/11 exhibit was starting its nationwide tour at the Provo Towne Center in Provo, he had to go and see it firsthand. 

“It’s very touching,” he said while looking at the displays. 

The exhibit, which is a scale replica of the World Trade Center and includes the names of those who died, was built by a Dutch teenager. 

Daan Van Der Steijn was 14 years old at the time he started making the exhibit. 

It took him five years to finish. He’s now a firefighter himself.  

When the Utah-based group Honor365 heard about his art, they organized to get the exhibit to the United States and bring it on tour across the country for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

“To understand what resiliency means and know that’s important for generations to come,” said Ninzel Rasmuson, who founded Honor365. 

The group prides itself on recognizing the sacrifice of fallen heroes. 

Members began the day with a memorial service at the Orem City Cemetery to honor first responders and military from the area who died — even after 9/11. 

From there, it was to the mall where the 9/11 exhibit is a reminder of when America wasn’t so divided. 

“We also want to be a part of something of healing and uniting,” said Rasmuson. 

The exhibit will be at the Provo Towne Center until Feb. 14. 

It will then head to Ogden and other Utah cities. 

Then, on to other states culminating in New York City on Sept. 11. 

“It’s going to be a special time,” said Rasmuson. 

It’s a time no one wanted, but for people like Waycasy, it’s a time to be remembered.

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