Photographer Tells Story Behind Mobile Memorial "Johnny’s Hot Dog Truck"

Johnny Perna’s hot dog truck sits at a bus stop on Staten Island in 2003. The truck features a decal of an American flag and the Twin Towers.
“Johnny Perna’s Hot Dog Truck” Staten Island, 2003 Photograph by Jonathan C. Hyman. Graphics by Jimbo

Hot dog stands, food trucks and street cart vendors are all part of New York City’s vibrant landscape. In his photograph "Johnny Perna's Hot Dog Truck," Jonathan C. Hyman documents an old bus-turned-food-truck parked at a Staten Island bus stop. The food truck, painted with the Twin Towers, two silhouettes of first responders and an American flag in the background, is a mobile memorial to those killed in the 9/11 attacks. Listen to an audio clip below of Hyman discussing the reasons behind why he photographed this scene and explain the story of this unique memorial.


This photograph is on view in an exhibition titled Beyond Ground Zero: 9/11 and the American Landscape at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The photographs in this exhibition document improvised memorials that emerged in public and private spaces within days of the attacks, and continually for years thereafter.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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