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New York Remembers Exhibit Opens At RCC

The school is one of 30 locations around the state to host the exhibit remembering those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001

Jodie Anthony was in Canada on Sept. 11, 2001, but the images were still haunting.

An already hit building at the World Trade Center had smoke pouring out of it and a second plane was maybe a hundred feet from the second Twin Tower. Businessmen and women dressed for work running down the street as a cloud of smoke engulfs the New York City street behind them. A board of flights at an airport showing every single flight has been canceled.

Anthony stood and observed each picture hanging in the hallway of the Technology Center at Rockland Community College.It’s in that hallway, on the ground floor level, that houses New York Remembers, a exhibit sponsored by Governor Andrew Cuomo at 30 locations across the state to honor the victims of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Each location contains pictures from the day, as well as artifacts from the State Museum and National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

“The concept behind the whole thing is to remember and honor,” said Maralin Roffino, assistant to the director of RCC’s Campus Communications. “This was a gift from the governor’s office.”

The locations are in public buildings, in public spaces, at places provided to state at no cost. Many SUNY locations, like RCC, and other universities were picked as sites.

“The idea is to have it throughout the state and not just at Ground Zero, because people from all over were affected by the attacks,” Roffino said.

The RCC location opened on Tuesday and will stay open through September. It’s open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At the exhibit at RCC, there is a letter from Cuomo about the exhibit and some brief history of the World Trade Center and Pentagon. There are large pictures of the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and then a series of images from through Sept. 11, 2001.

Running along the center of the large boards with the photos is a timeline describing the action from 9/11, from the planes boarding to when it was discovered they were hijacked and so on. There’s also a replica of a riding list from a firehouse on the day saying which firefighters were riding on the fire truck.

“It’s an interesting exhibit. It gives me jitters on the inside,” said Anthony, who lives with family in Suffern now so she can attend RCC. “It’s all kind of scary. It’s so realistic it brings you back to that day.”

But the most chilling item in the exhibit to Anthony was the memorial wall. This was a re-creation of the missing board outside the Family Assistance Center at Pier 94 where family members of those missing after the attacks put up posters with their loved ones’ images and names on them.

“The missing board is just ‘oh my goodness,’” Anthony said.

As for artifacts, the exhibit has a burnt and bent door from FDNY Ladder 3 and a display case with a few items, such as a burnt firehose connector, an airplane piece and a rusted semiautomatic pistol.

“The exhibit is a lot larger scale than I had anticipated,” said Tzipora Reitman, RCC’s director of communications. “Very moving. Very worthwhile for people to see it. I’m sure it will have a powerful impact on people who see it.”

The exhibit is free to view. On Friday, September 9, RCC is hosting a Commemoration and Remembrance Ceremony For 9/11 Tenth Anniversary. The ceremony will include musical presentations and a inter-denominational message of unity and peace. Military veterans enrolled at RCC and other student leaders will read the names of people with ties to Rockland who lost their lives on 9/11.

The ceremony was actually moved to take place right outside the Technology Center so it could be in close proximity to the New York Remembers exhibit, Reitman said.

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