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One Man's Moving Sept. 11 Memorial

Jerry Johnson and Jim Kranebell of Wabasha, Minn., inspect the Rolling Memorial.
Robert Smith, NPR
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Jerry Johnson and Jim Kranebell of Wabasha, Minn., inspect the Rolling Memorial.
The Rolling Memorial, photographed at a stop in Minnesota.
Robert Smith, NPR /
/
The Rolling Memorial, photographed at a stop in Minnesota.

With the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, a new storm threatening the U.S. coast and a war in Iraq, it's all too easy to forget that Sunday is the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

John Holmgren, a truck driver from Shafer, Minn., is hard at work to make sure America remembers.

Two years ago he turned his 18-wheeler into a rolling memorial to those who died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on the airliner that fell into a Pennsylvania field.

The big rig is decorated with airbrushed portraits of first responders... a skyline panarama of the twin towers... and the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died.

He displays the truck all over the country, hauling freight whenever he can. Everywhere he goes, people surround him. Some drive by, craning their necks and holding their cameras out the window.

"I stop so they can get a good shot," he says with a chuckle. Robert Smith caught up with him on the road in Wisconsin and at the Watermelon Festival in Kellogg, Minn.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Robert Smith
Robert Smith is a host for NPR's Planet Money where he tells stories about how the global economy is affecting our lives.