Two damaged fire department vehicles, salvaged from the rubble after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, were transported Wednesday morning from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
The vehicles arrived Thursday afternoon at the future National Museum of Americans in Wartime in Prince William County, Virginia.
The vehicles, a fire truck and a sedan, responded to the Twin Towers attacks on Sept. 11. The fire truck was from the Fire Department of New York’s Squad 252. Six of their crew members died that day.
Out of all the fire trucks dispatched to the Twin Towers, only four were recovered and preserved. The Port Authority had housed the vehicles for over 10 years in a hangar at JFK airport. After being displayed to Pentagon employees Thursday morning, the vehicles arrived at the museum that afternoon in time for a commemorating ceremony.
Kathy Bentz, the museum’s director of operations, said the museum authorities are honored to house the vehicles.
“It is a really rare artifact, this fire engine,” Bentz told The Daily Caller. “The crew gave their lives that day. … [It] makes the fire engine an even more poignant symbol of 9/11.”
Bentz said the artifacts fit perfectly with the museum’s mission.
“Our mission is to honor Americans who serve in wartime, both in uniform and on the home front. And we obviously see this as the ultimate home front service,” Bentz told TheDC.
From New York to Virginia, firemen and service workers reportedly went to highway overpasses to salute the 9/11 vehicles as they passed by.
The museum is currently raising funds for their building and will begin site work on their 70-acre land next month. They already have a large collection of operational military vehicles and artifacts.
Bentz said they hope to collect oral stories from veterans and personal belongings that give a deeper glimpses into a veteran’s life.
“We have a World War II aviator’s locker, and when we opened it, not only did it have his World War II items, it had his childhood baseball glove in it,” Bentz told TheDC. “It’s that real connection to real Americans who served.”
Despite some reports that say the museum is set to open in 2014, Bentz said there is no planned opening date at this point.