When Sharon Sherrill, of Hutchinson, who was visiting Lawrence this week, found out a fire truck that responded to the World Trade Center complex on 9/11 would be stopping in Lawrence, she had to come see it.
Tuesday morning inside Lawrence station No. 5, 1911 Stewart Ave., Sherrill was humbled as she looked over the Rescue 4 engine that formerly served New York City.
“It just brings you closer to these men that were out there,” Sherrill said. “It really makes you realize what their families have gone through since. I think we all need to be very humbled when we think about what these guys do for us.”
Dozens of Lawrence and area firefighters and their families along with members of the public viewed the truck as Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical hosted a group that takes it around the country.
Nine firefighters on the truck lost their lives responding to the attack at the complex. They were among 343 firefighters and paramedics who died in the attack. A group known as the Remembrance Rescue Project has purchased and restored the engine to use it as a mobile memorial that travels the country.
“We want to keep the honor and education going on the terrible event that happened that day and to remember the fallen firefighters of 9/11,” said Kris Mola, a Colorado firefighter who is part of the group taking the truck from Chicago to Denver on Tuesday.
Mola, who grew up in Chicago, said he became involved with the project because he was friends with group members who acquired the engine in 2011 and restored it. Mola and other firefighters with the rescue project drove 14 hours from Chicago to get to Lawrence. They are taking the engine to Denver, where it will make similar stops in western states throughout the year.
Mola and others sold T-shirts and collected donations at the event to support the project. Donations can also be made online at the group’s website, TheRRP.org.