The artifacts shared with visitors in the Museum’s In Memoriam gallery help tell the stories of the lives of 2,983 people killed in the attacks on September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993.
Once a year, Museum staff rotate the objects on view in the gallery’s four display cases to highlight items that belonged to victims or speak to their unique identities.
Each rotation is an opportunity for the Museum to present a new set of personal stories, ensuring that visitors learn details about the lives of an incredibly diverse set of people killed in those attacks.
Previous rotations have highlighted childhood mementos and provided details about individuals’ hobbies and cultural heritage. This year’s rotation tells the stories of victims’ professions or tributes created in their memory.
Chandler Raymond Keller was gifted in mathematics and engineering from an early age and ultimately became a propulsion engineer and project manager for Boeing Satellite Systems.
On September 11, he was returning home to California from a business trip on American Airlines Flight 77. His childhood model rockets and math kit, along with his Boeing ID badge, were selected as part of this year’s rotation to represent his lifelong interests and professional life.
Also rotating on view is a memorial tribute teddy bear to Vanessa Lynn Przybylo Kolpak, a recent college graduate who worked at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in the World Trade Center’s South Tower.
The bear — sewn from the dress Vanessa wore to her job interview at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods — is one of approximately 75 tribute bears created from Vanessa’s clothing by her mother, Vivian, who hoped they would provide comfort to Vanessa’s friends and relatives.
These objects, along with those donated in memory of 19 other individuals, will be on view beginning June 23. In addition to these stories, visitors can learn more about the lives of every victim using the digital touchscreen tables in the gallery.
Anyone interested in donating materials in memory of a loved one — objects, photographs or audio remembrances — can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Tara Prout, 9/11 Memorial Exhibition and Registries Manager