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Tuesday June 30, 2015

The annual Independence Day Celebration at Martinsville Speedway is full of rides, music and fireworks. However, Celebration 2015 will also have a place for remembrance.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation will bring the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit, a 53-foot long tractor-trailer that unfolds into a 1,100 square foot exhibit to serve as a reminder of that infamous day.

“While we want people to have fun and enjoy themselves at Celebration 2015, we are also celebrating the freedoms we share as Americans,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “By having the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit we are giving visitors a chance to take a few minutes and think about the people who have given their lives to ensure we remain free.” 

The exhibit has traveled around the country and serves as an educational tool. Through the presentation of artifacts, including actual steel beams from the towers, documentary video and recordings of first-responder radio transmissions, people will learn what took place and the ultimate sacrifice so many made on that day. 

“Each year, on important national occasions such as Independence Day, we seek to identify the most fitting location for our 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit, so we can share its sacred artifacts with the public,” said Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. “This year, because of the tremendous support Clay Campbell and Martinsville Speedway gave us towards building a high-tech home for Cpl. J.B. Kerns—who was badly injured in war—plus the ongoing generosity of Jeb Bassett and Bassett Furniture for our Building for America’s Bravest program, we could think of no more appropriate location to bring our exhibit than Celebration 2015. After all, if 9/11 had never happened, J.B. would never have gone to war and been injured.

“Now we have the distinct honor of sharing the story of 9/11 with the thousands of people who will be attending this very special Martinsville Speedway event.”

The foundation is named for Stephen Siller, a New York firefighter. On Sept. 11, 2001, on his way home from work, he heard about the first plane hitting the North Tower. He drove to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it was already closed. Siller got out of his truck, strapped 60 pounds of gear to his back and ran from the Tunnel to the Towers where he gave up his life while saving others.  His family established the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation in his memory.

Celebration 2015, a free-to-the-public family event, will begin at 3 p.m. when the carnival rides open. The entertainment portion of the event will begin at 6 p.m. with a performance by Fuzzy Logic followed by the featured musical act, The Tams. The free-to-the public event will also include the area’s largest fireworks display which will begin after The Tams’ performance.

Celebration 2015 sponsors include: American Global Logistics, American National Bank, Ameristaff, Appalachian Power, Applied Felts, Bassett Furniture, Bassett Office Supply, BB&T, Blue Ridge Aquaculture, Brad Parker Insurance Agency, Inc., Burch, Hodges & Stone, Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth, Carter Bank & Trust, Carter Machinery, Casting Logos, City of Martinsville, Collinsville Printing, Commonwealth Laminating, Cool Knobs & Pulls, Cunningham Tire, Dillon Insurance, Eastern Panel, Eastman, First Piedmont, Frith Construction, GS Industries, Henry County, Henry County Baptist Association, Hooker Furniture, Lucy Sale Foundation, Mark Mahoney Family Practice, Martinsville Speedway Children’s Foundation, Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce - Jobs.Martinsville.com, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County, Millard’s Machinery, Monogram Foods, Nelson Automotive, River Community Bank, RTI, Sarver Cleaning Service, Shenandoah Furniture, Southwest VA Gas, State Farm – Chris Starnes, Steve Martin Trenching, Taco Bell, Tarheel Paper & Supply Co., The Lester Group, TR Properties, Virginia Blower Company, ValleyStar Credit Union, Virginia Mirror, West Window and Zenith Logistics.

Tags: Henry County, Insider's Tips, Martinsville, Martinsville Speedway,