News / USA

Memories Collected at Ground Zero


Peter Fedynsky

The commemoration of the September 11 attacks of 2001 will include a memorial plaza and museum, which is currently under construction at Ground Zero. There is also an ongoing effort to document the memories people have of that day and the decade that followed. A key exhibit for the 9/11 museum has been lowered into place.

A fire truck whose 11-member team was killed responding to the World Trade Center attacks was lowered during a ceremony Wednesday into an exhibition space at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum under construction at Ground Zero. The truck is from the New York City Fire Department’s Ladder Company Three. Firefighters aboard that truck raced to the Twin Towers to help people escape, but themselves perished when the buildings collapsed. The cab of the vehicle, which weighs more than 27,000 kilograms, was destroyed.

People in lower Manhattan are being offered the chance to write down and share their memories of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
People in lower Manhattan are being offered the chance to write down and share their memories of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Meanwhile, the Tribute World Trade Center, which collects personal 9/11 histories, has provided pen and paper around the city to allow people to write or draw recollections associated with the attacks.  Meriam Lobel, curator for the Center, says many New Yorkers had been reluctant to share their 9/11 memories.

“We’re giving people who live and work in Lower Manhattan, and of course tourists if they happen to be walking by, an opportunity to go back to those memories of 9/11 itself, and think about which memories they might be interested in preserving," she said.

These include memories of lost loved ones, lost colleagues, and of strangers who helped survivors that day. People are also sharing how the city and people’s lives have changed in the past decade.

One person simply wrote that he saw the Twin Towers from his living room throughout his school years until his senior year in high school. Then, he writes, they disappeared. A visitor from Pakistan expressed sorrow on behalf of all Pakistanis for what happened on 9/11.  

Retired computer security consultant James O’Shea wrote a lengthy essay recalling the horror he felt watching both planes strike the towers from another city skyscraper. “My thoughts of how horrific this whole thing was, and how it changed all of our lives," he said. "And that we initially felt hit upon, unnecessarily so, that’s why we all shouted out, ‘we will never forget.’”

The recollections will be assembled into a work of art to be displayed at the Gardens of Remembrance in Battery Park near Ground Zero. The 9/11 memorial plaza opens to the public on September 12. The museum is expected to open next year.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs