New York City

Remembering 9/11

Artifacts from the National Museum of American History's exhibit September 11: Remembrance and Reflection.

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This collection of New York Fire Department (FDNY) equipment recovered from the debris of the World Trade Center includes a door and tail light panel from a crushed fire truck, two axe heads, and two firefighter’s pry bars.

When the first hijacked plane crashed into the World Trade Center, the New York Fire Department immediately responded. Officers set up a command center in the lobby of the north tower and bravely rushed up the stairs to rescue the trapped occupants and put out the raging fires. When the towers collapsed, numerous trucks were crushed, and 343 members of the New York Fire Department were killed.

This door is from a FDNY rescue pumper truck destroyed in the World Trade Center collapse. The truck belonged to Squad One of Brooklyn, part of FDNY’s Special Operations Command, an elite group of firefighters who respond to unique fire and emergency situations. Squad One lost 12 members on Sept. 11.

National Museum of American History

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This name tag was worn by Captain Kathy Mazza,, a Port Authority police officer, as she led rescue efforts on September 11, 2001.

Kathy Mazza dedicated her life to helping others. She’d begun her career as a nurse, and after working in the medical field for over a decade, she applied to the Port Authority police academy. Her medical background influenced her police work, and she began a program to install defibrillators in airports. In 1999 Kathy was honored as New York City’s Basic Life Support Provider of the Year. Kathy quickly climbed the ranks, and in April 1999 she became the second female to obtain the rank of Captain at the Port Authority Police.

National Museum of American History

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These sterling silver earrings shaped like an American flag were made by a Navajo jeweler and marketed at a roadside stand in Monument Valley, Utah. Artisans and commercial manufacturers produced patriotic jewelry commemorating the September 11 terrorist attacks. On these Navajo-designed American flag earrings, the date 9-11, 2001 replaces the field of stars.

National Museum of American History

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A personal beeper that belonged to Jonathan Eric Briley, who worked at Windows on the World restaurant.  

Jonathan Eric Briley worked as an audiovisual technician at Windows on the World, a restaurant located on the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower. Every morning he would watch the sun rise over New York City from atop the tower. On September 11, 2001, terrorists flew a hijacked planed into the North Towers of the World Trade Center, impacting floors 94-98. His personal beeper, ID card, and ring of keys were recovered with his remains.

National Museum of American History

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This ID badge belonged to Comdr. Patrick Dunn, a victim of terrorist attack on the Pentagon.  Being a U.S. soldier has always been a dangerous job, but a terrorist attack was not expected by anyone sitting at a desk in the Pentagon. 

On the morning of September 11, Comdr. Patrick Dunn was the watch commander of the Navy Command Center on the first floor, in the D ring of the Pentagon. Personnel in the Center were aware of the terrorist attacks in New York and were monitoring developments along with other situations around the world. 

At 9:38 am, terrorists crashed a Boeing 757 into the Pentagon. The plane slid directly through the Navy Command Center, killing twenty-nine of the thirty people working in the facility. In the Pentagon attack, 125 employees were killed and some 140 more were injured; aboard the airplane fifty-three passengers, seven crew members, and five hijackers died.

National Museum of American History

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This badly damaged American flag was found by a recovery worker in the World Trade Center debris at the Staten Island recovery site.

Raised over the World Trade Center ruins and hung from the damaged Pentagon, the flag became a powerful symbol of patriotism, survival, and resilience. Many Americans, who at one time had rejected overt displays of patriotism, returned to flying the flag at home, at work, even from their cars. The shared symbolism of the meaning of the flag helped unite Americans in a time of crisis. Only a few American flags from the World Trade Center survived the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

National Museum of American History

Remembering 9/11

Artifacts from the National Museum of American History's exhibit September 11: Remembrance and Reflection.

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