MIDDLEPORT — Alan Wallace, a native of Middleport, will be one of three firemen to be honored in a ceremony marking the 12th anniversary of the attack on the Pentagon to be held at Fort Knox on Sept. 10 and 11.
The ceremony will take place at Fort Knox, and Wallace and two other firemen, Mark Skipper and Dennis Young, who were on the scene when the terrorist attack occurred, will be recognized for their service and prominently featured in a parade to mark the occasion.
The featured display at the event will be a foam fire truck brought in to the Pentagon Heliport Station that fateful morning by the three firemen. It had been parked outside in preparation for the arrival of the first helicopter flight just prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.
The fire truck, battered from the terrorist attack, became a part of the General George Patton Museum of Leadership’s collection last fall. It will headline an elaborate exhibit under development that will serve as a part of the museum’s ongoing revamp into a repository of history told through themes of leadership, according to a release from the Fort Knox media relations office.
The exhibit was the brainchild of the Patton Museum Foundation in conjunction with defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, who will be bringing in the three firefighters for the Sept. 10 parade which will lead into the Patriot Day ceremony at Fort Knox starting on Sept. 11.
Hamilton will also be recording the three firemen, Wallace, Skipper and Young, standing beside the truck, telling their stories of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 which will be replicated digitally for the benefit of museum visitors.
Russ Gold, vice chairman of the Patton Museum Foundation and coordinator of the celebration, said he believes the impact of the firefighters’ stories and the repercussions of what the damaged truck symbolizes will attract national attention to the Patton Museum far beyond Hardin County in Kentucky where it is located.
Organizers plan a caravan parade to present the three firefighters and the truck to the community before it comes to rest inside the museum.
While the truck is nonfunctional — part of the metal cage that houses the engine was melted and twisted, and a tire was flattened by the heat of the fire – it will be hauled along in the parade on a flatbed truck. The foundation has restored parts of the truck and cleared graffiti left behind by vandals in preparation for its exhibit.
Wallace, son of Faye Wallace of Middleport, has spoken to many area groups on his Sept 11, 2001 experience at the Pentagon. He tells the story of hearing about the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and shortly thereafter about the probability of an attack on Washington D. C He recalls the sight of the plane only seconds before it hit the Pentagon, the fire which erupted, and the rescue efforts which followed.
Wallace is now retired and resides in Lithopolis.