Summer Activities On View in the Memorial Exhibition Gallery

In an old photograph, Stephen A. Knapp looks up from a pair of binoculars and smiles. His fishing reel is also seen displayed on a gray surface.
Stephen A. Knapp's fishing reel and other artifacts are now on view in the 9/11 Memorial Museum's Memorial Exhibition gallery.

This year in conjunction with Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11, the 9/11 Memorial Museum selected objects that speak to victims’ relationship to sports and physical activity for display in In Memoriam. As the summer months draw to a close, three particular objects, and the stories they represent, call to mind how many New Yorkers spend their time outdoors when the days are long and the weather is warm. 

A little more than 25 years ago, on Feb. 26, 1993, Stephen A. Knapp was on his lunchbreak in the basement of the World Trade Center complex when a bomb was detonated in the parking garage. Stephen, who lived on Staten Island, was an avid fisherman who often scheduled his recreational time in the spring, summer and fall months around the tides of Raritan Bay, located between New York and New Jersey. His son recalled that Stephen’s prized catches were bluefish and striped bass. After his death, his family sold his motorboat, but they kept some of his fishing equipment that they still use to this day. Now on view in In Memoriam is a fishing reel taken from one of his poles.

Melissa Cándida Doi worked as a senior manager at IQ Financial Systems in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Prior to starting a career in finance, Melissa studied ballet. As her friend Joanna Stetman recalled in an oral history conducted with the 9/11 Memorial Museum in 2011, “She was incredibly physical at just about everything she did.” One of Melissa’s passions was Rollerblading, particularly through Central Park. She was also known to have taught children who wanted to learn how to skate and to purchase skates for kids who were less fortunate. In memory of her favorite outdoor pastime, Melissa’s friend and family donated her Rollerblades to the Museum’s collection, which are now on view in the gallery.

According to his son Bryan, Ira Zaslow “had a passion” for paddleball. He would wake up as early as 6 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year to play paddleball with friends. As someone who grew up playing stickball and basketball on the streets of New York City, Ira preferred the outdoor weekend paddleball games. His son recounted that Ira would do “anything to play more.” If there was an argument over a foul ball, for example, Ira would say “play it over!” His time on the court was remembered as pure happiness for him. For that reason, Ira’s beloved paddleball paddle was donated to the Museum in his memory and is currently on view in the Memorial Exhibition gallery.

Ira Zaslow's paddleball paddle. Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum.

The Museum continues to collect objects, photographs and recorded remembrances in memory of the victims of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. If you are interested in donating materials to the collection, please contact

By Tara Prout, Memorial Exhibition and Registries Manager, 9/11 Memorial Museum

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