NEW YORK - St. Paul's Chapel, also known as Ground Zero Chapel, which is an 18th-century church across the street from the World Trade Center, opened a permanent exhibit about the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, on May 03.
With the title, "The Unwavering Spirit: Hope and Healing at Ground Zero," the exhibit recalls the rescuers and volunteers, who provided comfort and hope to the city full of overwhelming grief and sorrow.
When the attack happened on Sept. 11, 2001, the church, full of Americans’ tears, provided a place for the ground zero workers to eat, sleep, and wash. Outside, the church's iron fence was draped in tributes and flowers left by mourners.
"Objects don't speak, but they enable you to remember — and to experience both how scary and horrific it was, and the wonder of people's inner resilience and strength, the sense of community that was created," Edwin Schlossberg, an interactive designer whose firm, ESI Design, worked with the church to create the exhibit, said Monday, May 03.
"This is an invitation to participate, to explore," Schlossberg added.
Along with digital archives, hundreds of artifacts taken from the fence, including photographs, letters, drawings, flags, even such exotic tributes as strings of Japanese origami peace cranes are displayed at the exhibit.
"What I think of most was all the love freely given to strangers by strangers," volunteer Ann Neary said in one video clip.
St. Paul's Chapel, which is part of the nearby Trinity Church parish, decided to open a permanent exhibit after the overwhelming public response to a temporary exhibit mounted at the church in September 2002. Called "From the Dust," it brought as many as 20,000 people a day to St. Paul's, for a total of 1 million so far.