By Kyla Baptiste ’19
People from different walks of life, including Ms. Joan Rowe’s True Crimes Class, came to the 9/11 Memorial to pay respect for the people who risked their lives to protect those who were in danger on 9/11.
“My friend’s father died in the South Tower. I’m doing this for her because she wasn’t able to go to the museum,” said Jeymi Leal ’18.
Survivors, emergency personnel and family members who lost loved ones united to manage the unprecedented issues. The museum features Center of World Trade, Financial Center Rises, and A Vertical Community.
One of the exhibits described that day as a beautiful day of sunshine with no clouds. As one plane struck the first tower, people stood in shock. Eventually, as the second plane struck the second tower, people were running for their lives, rubble was on the ground. Debris was flying everywhere.
Bill Biggart, a photojournalist took pictures before he was killed by the collapsing North Tower. His camera was returned to his wife, Wendy Doremus, who took these pictures to be displayed at the 9/11 Tribute Museum.
Joe Bradley, from Operating Engineers Local 15, said, “There are still 1,102 people that died that day and they have yet to identify any of their remains. They initially identified some of the remains of a person and they had a burial service. Then they would find another body. It’s really hard.”
Bradley watches everybody as they tour around the museum to look at exhibits. His main purpose there is to educate about the importance of honoring 9/11 and why we should pay respect to the firefighters and construction workers who risked their lives that day.
Bradley was a retired firefighter when 9/11 happened, but he has two sons who followed in his footsteps and became firefighters as well.
“That day I was absolutely terrified that I could’ve lost one or two of my sons,” said Bradley.
Afterwards, Bradley captured the attention of the people in the museum by having an intimate talk about the importance of 9/11 to him and his experiences as a firefighter.
“Fire departments are very close-knit. They’re like family. You raise your hand and take an oath to protect life and property,” Bradley said.
He added that volunteers came from all around the world with one thought in mind: help New York out of its hole. The workers at the museum wear blue shirts because 9/11 was a beautiful day.
The museum incorporated a wall of pictures for all the victims who died and a few books to locate the name and where the person is on the wall.
There was also an exhibit of ‘Symbols of Solidarity’ for other events that had a great impact on the world.
After 9/11, designers at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey created an iconic representation to inspire the people rebuilding Lower Manhattan. After the Boston Marathon bombing, #BostonStrong and the yellow and blue colors of the Boston Marathon proliferated. People around the world declared, “Je Suis Charlie” in remembrance for the attack on the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo. “I Stand With Orlando” in remembrance of the deaths of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub in 2016.
“I feel a sense of accomplishment taking my students to the 9/11 Tribute Museum, which leaves an indelible mark on everyone who visits it.” said Ms. Rowe. “The museum provides a firsthand view of the devastation of the 9/11 attacks on lower Manhattan as well as the American people, but more importantly, it brings to the forefront the bravery, alliance, resilience and perseverance of humans in general and Americans in particular. The 9/11 Tribute Museum is didactic in structure and affords students the opportunity to interact with artifacts, primary documents and people who share their experience regarding the attacks.”