Where There Is Sorrow, There Is Holy Ground:
A September 11, 2001 Retrospective
September 11 - November 1, 2002
David Filderman Gallery, 9th floor, Axinn Library
Professor Geri E. Solomon, University Archivist/Interim Director, Long Island Studies Institute
Janelle Boucher, Graduate Intern, Processing Archivist, The September 11th Project
In this exhibit, we have attempted to depict the people of Long Island and their responses in the aftermath of tragedy. While much of the world focused on terrorists and terrorism, those of us closest to the actual disaster site needed to use all of our resources to simply cope with day-to-day life. Highways that were once pathways into the city, became available only to emergency personnel. Trains that once carried thousands to work in a rather mundane fashion, stood empty and unnecessary. And, people who had not ever considered themselves anything but ordinary citizens became heroes. Whether it was because of the backbreaking physical labor that they performed at "Ground Zero," or because they offered themselves as volunteers, or they made donations of food or donations of dollars, Long Islanders responded with their hearts.
Shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, Jerry Kessler, President of Friends for Long Island's Heritage called the Hofstra University Archives. He thought that it would be important for a repository to begin to collect documentation about Long Islanders reactions to those tragic events. The University agreed that it was imperative to store these items at a site that would be accessible to the Long Island community. The Long Island Studies Institute was deemed an appropriate site.
The September 11th Project Collection has grown each day since that time. It includes personal reflections, photographs, artistic renderings, audiotapes, objects, printed materials, and videotapes. The focus remains "Long Island-centric" and it reflects the spirit of hope and the caring nature of our communities. As the need for volunteers became great, greater still was the response of our emergency personnel, our firemen, our students, and the ordinary citizen. The collection documents the thoughts and prayers of our religious institutions, our educational institutions, and our businesses.