Proskauer is a proud Corporate Member of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. As an annual supporter, the Firm regularly shares the experience of the Memorial and Museum with its employees, clients, summer associates and guests from around the world. In recognizing the 17th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11, we present our readers with a Q&A between Timothy McGuirk, Communications Manager at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Wendy Dessy, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Proskauer.
Wendy:What are your mission and goals?
Timothy:The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, a nonprofit organization located at the World Trade Center in New York City, bears solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The organization honors the 2,983 victims of these attacks, those who risked their lives to save others and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion in the aftermath through commemoration, exhibitions and educational programs that tell the story of the attacks and explore the continuing global impact of 9/11 and the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and communities.
Wendy: Please describe the process of building and designing the memorial?
Timothy: An international design competition was held in 2003 for selecting the design for a national memorial to remember and honor the people killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. Design submissions totaled 5,201 and were received from 63 nations.
Wendy: Who are the architects?
Timothy: Michael Arad, in concert with landscape architect Peter Walker, created the winning design, “Reflecting Absence.”
Wendy: Please tell us about the Historical and Memorial Exhibitions.
Timothy: The Museum tells the story of 9/11 through interactive technology, archives, narratives and a collection of artifacts.
Located within the original footprint of the North Tower, the historical exhibition tells the story of 9/11 using artifacts, images, first-person testimony and archival audio and video recordings. The exhibition is made up of three sequential parts: the Events of the Day, Before 9/11, and After 9/11.
Located within the original footprint of the South Tower, this exhibition features portrait photographs of the 2,983 victims of the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, and the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Visitors can learn more about each victim by using touch-screen tables to look up individual profiles. An inner chamber projects selected individual profiles, including audio remembrances recorded by family members, friends and former colleagues. Rotating selections of victims’ personal artifacts donated by family members are also on display.
Wendy: It is so important for young people to understand the events of 9/11. How do you engage students?
Timothy: Annually, the 9/11 Memorial Museum hosts “Anniversary in the Schools,” a free webinar that provides a meaningful way to deepen students’ knowledge about the events of 9/11 and the importance of commemoration. The program introduces participants to exhibitions within the Museum, shares personal stories about the attacks from first responders and survivors, and invites them to ask questions through a live chat with Museum staff.
To learn more about this seminar, please click here: https://www.911memorial.org/blog/register-911-memorial-museums-annual-anniversary-schools-webinar
Throughout the year, the Museum offers a diverse set of inquiry-based programs designed to challenge students to think critically about a wide range of topics related to 9/11. All the programs and resources can be found here: https://www.911memorial.org/education-programs
Wendy: Is the exhibit appropriate for all ages?
Timothy: While the Museum is open to all, it provides age-specific resources due to the sensitive nature of 9/11 content. These resources can be found here: https://www.911memorial.org/talk-children-about-terrorism
The Museum’s historical exhibition, September 11, 2001, may not be appropriate for visitors 10 years old and younger.