Theme memo blog. News, discussion and information about the National September 11 Memorial & Museum

A Living history: The stories behind 9/11 artifacts

"A Living History: The Stories Behind 9/11 Artifacts" is a three-part series written by oral historian Jenny Pachucki of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and edited by Meghan Walsh, a communications associate for the 9/11 Memorial. The following is a preview to the series, which begins Tuesday, July 13.

The collection of artifacts recently spread out on a table before the 9/11 Memorial Museum's curators and exhibitions team stirred their enthusiasm.  They couldn't contain their excitement when, last month, NYPD detective David Brink donated items steeped in the history of the Sept. 11 attacks. Brink responded to the attacks on Sept. 11 and immediately began evacuating civilians to safety. He survived the collapse of both twin towers, narrowly escaping with his life.  Brink worked the duration of the rescue and recovery effort at ground zero, and he saved everything that he possible could that would tell his story. 

“Brink is what we like to call a ‘curator’s dream come true,’” said Jenny Pachucki, oral historian for the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The variety of Brink's donated artifacts will truly help curators tell the story of recovery, survival and lost.

 A couple weeks ago, Brink packed articles and items he saved from 9/11 into a large suitcase and came to the memorial offices in lower Manhattan, where he donated them to the museum's collection. 

Brink’s collection includes World Trade Center steel, NYPD helmets and gear worn on Sept.11, and tools used during rescue and recovery operations at ground zero. Over the next three days, read about these artifacts and Brink on The MEMO blog.

By Jenny Pachucki, Oral Historian for the 9/11 Memorial Museum