WEBER COUNTY, Utah — A new 9/11 exhibit has debuted in Weber County as the 20th anniversary of the attacks is set for Saturday.
This weekend's program titled “Weber Remembers: The 9/11 Project” is being held at the Weber County Fairgrounds and Ogden Amphitheater. The exhibit was created around six months ago by Jennie Taylor and the Major Brent Taylor Foundation, a non-profit that aims to honor military families and train future leaders.
The interactive museum walks people along the late 1990s, through September 11 and then into the wake of the tragedy.
This weekend's three-day long event also features a community center that allows guests to interact with first responders and the military community.
Before the event officially opened to the public Thursday, students from Ogden and Weber took field trips to the site to learn about the pivotal day in American history.
“If we don’t teach our kids the significance of it, they’ll never get it. They didn’t live through it,” said Taylor.
Born and raised in New York City, Hector Soto lived through the traumatic event as part of the first responder recovery cleanup, where he spent at least 12 hours a day removing debris from the city’s subway system after the terrorist attack.
“It’s hard to wrap your head around the destruction. That’s something I’ve never seen in my life, because I had never served in the military, so I had never been in a war zone, and that’s how I can best describe it,” said Soto.
The devastation didn’t stop in 2001 for Soto as he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer just years after helping the cleanup.
“All the people that I was alongside with, at the pile, we didn’t do it for the glory, it was our job we were just doing our jobs. But so many of us are dying,” Soto tearfully explained.
Soto also said he recently had to bury his cousin who was a 32-year veteran with the NYPD. The 53-year-old died after battling multiple cancers.
Thankfully, Soto beat his cancer and uses his survival as an opportunity to share his story.
“Weber Remembers: The 9/11 Project” will be open to the public Thursday and Friday from 4:00 -8:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.