Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Exhibition Unveiled in New York State Capitol

Artifacts Include an American Flag and a Plane Fragment

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Museum today unveiled an exhibition in recognition of the eleventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The exhibition will be on display in the War Room in the State Capitol from September 11th to mid-October and will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

The exhibition features artifacts from the New York State Museum, and honors the victims of September 11th and the countless heroes who helped in the clean-up and recovery efforts. New York State's permanent exhibit to commemorate September 11th – "The World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response" – remains on display in the State Museum.

"Communities throughout New York, our nation, and the entire world felt the impact of the terrorist attacks of September 11th," Governor Cuomo said.

"This year, on the eleventh anniversary, we remember the thousands of innocent victims and honor the countless heroes who responded on that day and in the months that followed. This exhibition will serve as a way to educate New Yorkers and those who visit our state about the tragedy that unfolded on September 11, as well as remind each of us about the bravery and courage of our first responders. I thank the State Museum for its work in creating this important exhibition."

The artifacts in the exhibit include: an American flag recovered from the site; FDNY Engine 6 vehicle door; WTC facade aluminum; steel from staircase in the towers; elevator plaque recovered from site; a fire hose recovered from site; a small airplane fragment; a jacket from NYS Office of Tax and Finance at the World Trade Center; and badges from NYS Office of Tax and Finance at the World Trade Center.

The stories behind all the artifacts are included as part of the exhibition, and a full timeline of the events of September 11th is also present. 

"This exhibit is a reminder that we must never forget. We must never forget the horrible attack on 9/11, and we must never forget the remarkable courage so many brave men and women demonstrated on that day,” said State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.

“This exhibition is testimony to the strength and valor of our first responders and so many other New Yorkers who responded to the terrible attacks. The State Education Department and the State Museum are proud to partner with Governor Cuomo to bring this exhibit to the state capitol."

With more than 2,000 artifacts, the New York State Museum is the nation's largest repository of objects recovered from the World Trade Center site after September 11, 2001.

Within weeks of the attacks, State Museum staff documented the operations at the WTC site and later spent countless hours at the WTC Recovery Operation at Fresh Kills where all the material was inspected. In the 10 months that followed the attacks, the FBI and NYPD recovered over 50,000 pieces of personal property.

The museum also documented the Fresh Kills operation with hundreds of photographs, interviews, and films. 

The FBI and NYPD transferred all artifacts to the Museum after they were designated non-essential to the crime scene as neither criminal evidence nor personal property. Items include rescue artifacts, building pieces, everyday artifacts, and other objects from the site.

No object collected from Fresh Kills by the State Museum was kept if it could be identified as owned by an individual. Vehicles like a FDNY truck were signed over to the State Museum by the FDNY via a deed of gift by the specific agency.

Forty-nine pieces of the two airplanes that crashed into the towers were transferred to the State Museum by the FBI. These include fuselage, interior, and engine parts.

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