On View: Earmuffs Belonging to 11-Year-Old 9/11 Victim

On View: Earmuffs Belonging to 11-Year-Old 9/11 Victim

Winnie the Pooh earmuffs belonging to Asia S. Cottom. Gift of Clifton and Michelle Cottom, in memory of Asia Cottom. Photo by Amy Dreher.

This winter, the 9/11 Memorial Museum is inspired by a special artifact that belonged to one of the youngest 9/11 victims, Asia Cottom.Asia Cottom, Gift of Michelle Cottom.

A vivacious 11-year-old, Cottom was just starting her sixth grade school year at Bertie Backus Middle School in Washington, D.C. when she was chosen to attend a National Geographic Society conference with a teacher in the Channel Islands located off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, she and her teacher, Sara Clark, boarded Flight 77 bound for California. Hijackers overtook the plane and crashed into the Pentagon, killing all aboard.

In late 2014, Cottom’s parents met with 9/11 Memorial Museum curators and donated her Winnie the Pooh earmuffs and other personal items. The earmuffs are now on view in the memorial exhibition, In Memoriam.

Listen to 9/11 Memorial Chief Curator and Vice President of Collections, Jan Ramirez tell the story behind this special artifact.


By Jenny Pachucki, 9/11 Memorial Content Strategist