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Changed Lives exhibition now on view


Changed Lives: New Jersey Remembers September 11, 2001, an exhibition created by The New Jersey Historical Society to document New Jersey’s response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, is now on view. It opened for viewing at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2002, marking the one-year anniversary of the tragic event.

The exhibition will run until December 7, 2002 during regular gallery hours on Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

Objects such as banners, photographs of shrines, artwork and other public memorials all are tangible mementos that express the state’s collective emotional and physical response to the national tragedy. From the bumper sticker inscribed with “Let’s Roll”—the last words spoken by Cranbury resident Todd Beamer aboard downed United Airlines Flight 93—to the poetry and artwork created by Newark schoolchildren, this exhibition preserves and records New Jersey’s story.

The exhibition also will include “soundstiks” where listeners can hear the voices of people sharing their stories, “talkback” books that integrate visitors’ comments into the exhibition and a video documentary produced by NJN Public Television.

The exhibition is one component of the statewide collecting project: “Changed Lives: Understanding New Jersey in the Aftermath of September 11th,” created to serve as a public recording of the past. Another integral piece of this project is the oral history component. Interviews, which focus on the events surrounding the attacks, as well as on individuals’ backgrounds, will be transcribed and deposited with the Historical Society’s collections and at Columbia University’s oral history archive. Several of them are part of the exhibition and tell many of the unheard stories from various New Jersey-based public safety and emergency personnel, who were often among the first to arrive on the scene that day.

“We want to make sure that the very human responses of New Jerseyans are chronicled and preserved for future generations,” said Sally Yerkovich, President and CEO of The New Jersey Historical Society. “We believe that, as we move forward, these responses will be key to understanding the events and their impact upon American society.”

The “Changed Lives” project was funded in part by the Charles Emil Thenen Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the New Jersey Historical Commission and NJN Public Television.

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