Saturday, February 6, 2010

The 9/11 Truck

It's important to remember the events that shape who we are. As individuals, as families, as communities—and as a nation.
It is hard not to be impressed by John Holmgren's efforts to remember the events of 9/11, and to share it with the nation. He paid $40,000 to have his truck hand-painted with a fireman, and with Old Glory; and with printed lettering listing 3,168 names of people who perished on 9/11.

This truck is a moving memorial in more than one sense of the word. "It's just my way of respecting the families, and it turned out to be so much more," says Holmgren.

It is always amazing to see what art can convey, when soapbox oratory fails.

Text re-posted from Wikipedia:
The Rolling Memorial is a semi-trailer truck painted with a mural intended to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The project was conceived by John Holmgren of Shafer, Minnesota in the United States after hearing the song "Have You Forgotten" by country singer Darryl Worley.

An over-the-road truck driver, Holmgren transformed his 18-wheeler into the tribute with the help of a mural artist. The mural image, along with the names of the victims of the attack, were printed onto vinyl sheets and applied to the truck at a cost of nearly $40,000 USD. Holmgren sold t-shirts, toy models of the truck and other merchandise to cover expenses but has nonetheless gone into debt.

Holmgren attributes the popularity of his truck to an e-mail forward, which apparently started in 2004 with a food company employee who photographed the truck. The e-mail eventually made its way into the hands of celebrities such as Jimmy Buffett and Reba McEntire, who then asked Holmgren to bring his truck to their concerts. The truck was also invited to "ground zero" for a special commemorative ceremony in 2004.

Holmgren displays the truck all over the U.S. and continues to use it to transport freight when possible. In an interview with the Star Tribune, he said "Troopers pull me over just to get a picture with the truck. Once I even got out of a ticket. The guy said, 'I can't give this to you, knowing what you're doing.'" Holmgren has received emails from over 20 countries, and there are several websites devoted to his truck. He has also met with families of 9/11 victims.
Have you ever seen the truck? Tell us about it.


Rhonda Miller said...

Wow, this is great. I've never seen it, but would love to.

Jeanne said...

What an amazing thing to do!