"Never forget," "always in our hearts," and "God bless." In the days after 9/11, these messages came to animate missing posters, signs and billboards. As recovery workers toiled to clear the devastation, they expressed their grief and solidarity by inscribing these words of hope on the Last Column, the last piece of steel to be removed from the World Trade Center site. Today, guests share similar messages at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
In the museum’s largest gallery, Foundation Hall, visitors are able to inscribe their thoughts on a digital registry alongside a recovered piece of steel near the Last Column. Since the museum opened days ago to the 9/11 community, more than 1,000 visitors have written sentiments of remembrance.
They write in memory of the loved ones they mourn:
• "Uncle Henry, you are missed every day. We love you."
• "Joshua, you are with us always, Love you and miss you, Mother / Miss ya Bro!! Brian."
They write in honor of the institutions they hold dear:
• "God bless FDNY 343." Bayonne, N.J.
• “In memory of NY State court officers." Bronx, N.Y.
Reading these new messages, staff members see wishes for the future:
• "Don't postpone the joy." Trenton, N.J.
• "For a better New York." Charlie M, Los Angeles, Calif.
• "Good will always triumph." Dan K, New York, N.Y.
Even during the dedication period, where our guests include the families of those killed, survivors, recovery workers, lower Manhattan residents, uniformed service members, and others in the 9/11 community, we see confirmation that September 11, 2001 had a global effect:
• "We all miss you Sarah Khan, from mom and family.” Mabaruma, Guyana,
• "You will always be in memory." Chongquing, China
We, the staff, watch our visitors carefully write out their notes to today and the future, and we are grateful as their contributions enrich the museum experience for all of us.
By Amy S. Weisser, 9/11 Memorial Museum Vice President for Exhibitions