June 30 – Back to Rebirth

It seems that on Friday mornings, there really aren’t many volunteers, so we tend to get reassigned to the same positions. I don’t mind the “Rebirth at Ground Zero” post. I get to talk a lot about various other events at the Museum on the same day and to people from all over the globe.

For instance, we had a new installation today right outside of the area where the Rebirth film is shown. Previously, the  “National Tribute Quilt” was on the wall within the Tribute Walk.

Different-NationalTributeQuilt-911

Before its move to  the 911 Memorial and Museum, The Quilt  was displayed  at the American Folk Museum in NYC since July 2016.

The new installation, mounted on June 30 2017,  is called “Flag of Remembrance”. The 911 Memorial and Museum website fact sheet describes it as conceived in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks by Mindy Kombert and Sherry Kronenfeld, who were inspired by the proliferation of  missing persons posters around New York City to incorporate the faces of the victims into a graphic memorial. Principals in a local graphic design firm, they suspended “business as usual” to create a not-for-profit organization dedicated to making their flag a reality and conducting the sensitive outreach to families wishing to contribute pictures of their loved ones to the project.

The Flag of Remembrance was made by transferring victims’ photographs in muted tones of red, white and blue to individual pieces of fabric. The blue field with white stars was reserved for uniformed first responders while the stripes of white and red were dedicated to civilians. The result is an American flag of faces, 20 feet high by 27 feet wide. Each victim’s name and age is included. Victims for whom photographs were unavailable are accounted for with an image of a memorial candle.

Although Kombert and Kronenfeld placed pictures of civilian faces on the flag according to which flight they had boarded or where they worked, they accommodated requests from relatives who wished to alter the flag’s organizing principle by having friends and siblings placed adjacent to one another. The finished product is thus at once orderly and personal, reflecting the specific humanity of the victims and some of the webs that interconnected them.

Unfortunately, I was unable to capture a decent photo of the Flag, but will attempt to do so later this week.

We had a very large number of Asian visitors to the film; all very patient while waiting in the long, long lines for this time-lapsed film. Oh, did I mention that the film actually captures 11 years of still photography from cameras erected on the site during the rebuilding of the site, including One World Trade (Freedom Tower) and the two memorial pools? On the other hand, it seemed that more Westerners were interested in seeing a video of the actual impact of the aircraft to the towers. All in all, it was a very, very busy day with capacity viewers for the 11 minute film during each showing while I was on shift.

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