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National Museum of American History to Commemorate 10th Anniversary of Sept. 11 Attacks

Press Release - Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on America with a display of objects on view Sept. 3 to Sept. 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as a public program co-hosted with the National Building Museum, a Smithsonian Channel documentary, outreach to teachers through Thinkfinity.org and a special ceremony Sunday, Sept. 11.

In 2002, Congress designated the museum as the official repository for Sept. 11 materials so that objects, photographs and documents would be preserved permanently in the museum’s collections to help future generations of historians and visitors comprehend the horrific events, their roots and their long-term consequences.

“The National Museum of American History responded to the tragic events of Sept. 11 by collecting history as it was happening,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. “Ten years later, we will share some of those objects in a personal setting, providing an opportunity for visitors to speak with museum staff and to have a place to remember and reflect on what it means to be an American today.”

Display

“September 11: Remembrance and Reflection” will provide visitors with a close-up view of more than 50 objects from the three sites—New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa.—as well as recent acquisitions related to how American lives have changed since then. To create an intimate experience for visitors, the objects will be shown on tables rather than behind glass cases. Artifacts will include airplane fragments, a door from a crushed FDNY fire truck, a Pentagon map from the building’s second floor and objects recovered from offices. Photographs from the museum’s collection will provide a context for each site.

“September 11: Remembrance and Reflection” is made possible with support by Booz Allen Hamilton and the History channel. It will feature video excerpts from the Smithsonian Channel documentary, 9/11: Stories in Fragments, and a video presentation ABC News made for the museum on the one-year anniversary. The museum is working with the September 11 Digital Archive at George Mason University to preserve stories and recollections from the public.

Teacher Outreach

The museum and its partners—the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, the Pentagon Memorial Fund and the Flight 93 Memorial—are collaborating to produce an online conference about Sept. 11 for K-12 educators Aug. 3-4. “September 11: Teaching Contemporary History” is designed to provide educators with resources and strategies for addressing Sept. 11. Through roundtable discussions and six workshop sessions, the conference will highlight online resources, provide background on Sept. 11 and encourage conversations on how to document, preserve and interpret recent history. Registration opens in early June at http://smithsonianconference.org/september11. The program is supported by the museum’s partner Thinkfinity.org, the Verizon Foundation’s portal of K-12 lesson plans and educational resources.

Public Program

The museum will co-sponsor a forum on “The Public Memory of September 11” at the National Building Museum Tuesday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m. The free program will include presentations by the directors of the Sept. 11 memorials at the Pentagon, New York and Pennsylvania and will be moderated by Glass. The forum is made possible by the History channel. Preregistration is required at: http://www.nbm.org/.

Documentary

9/11: Stories in Fragments is a Smithsonian Channel production based on the museum’s Sept. 11 collections and the stories they convey. The film features museum curators and donors speaking about the objects and giving the perspectives of victims, witnesses, ordinary people and heroes from New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville. The film is scheduled to premiere on the Smithsonian Channel Sept. 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. The museum’s Sept. 11 collection may be viewed at http://americanhistory.si.edu/september11.

Media only: Kate Wiley (202) 633-3129

 

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