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New York State Museum in Albany opens World Trade Center 'Family Room' exhibition
Panoramic View of the Family Room at One Liberty Plaza. Courtesy of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

ALBANY, NY.- A new exhibition that honors those lost in the September 11 World Trade Center attacks opened on September 11, 2014 at the New York State Museum, a program of the New York State Education Department. The Family Room at One Liberty Plaza – World Trade Center Site includes personal remembrances, photographs, and tributes from the Family Room at the World Trade Center site. The Family Room was established as a private place for families to remember their loved ones killed in the 2001 attacks. Contents from the Family Room were transferred this summer to the State Museum.

“America suffered tremendous loss on September 11, 2001,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch. “The family members of those lost at the World Trade Center have remembered and honored their loved ones at a private Family Room for over a decade. The Board of Regents and the State Museum are humbled to preserve the Family Room’s personal remembrances and tributes for future generations. We consider ourselves a temporary home. We’re going to use this opportunity to find a permanent place closer to ground zero that would be of significance to the families."

“History is sometimes written in tears. Thanks to the dedicated family members who worked with us to preserve the memory and history of the Family Room, we can share that history with all of New York,” said State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. “We are honored to be entrusted with the thousands of personal memorials and tributes from the Family Room. The exhibition at the State Museum will give visitors a deeper understanding of the ongoing impact of September 11 and the immense grief families experienced in the days, months, and years following the attacks.”

“It is an honor to serve as the permanent repository of the Family Room’s precious legacy,” said State Museum Director Mark Schaming. “The families of those lost on September 11 have allowed us into this very personal place for the first time. The countless personal photos and reflections speak to the enormous loss that the families have experienced since that tragic day.”

Soon after September 11, 2001, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) recognized the need for a private space near the World Trade Center site for families to grieve and remember their loved ones. A room adjacent to the LMDC offices on the 20th floor of One Liberty Plaza was designated as the Family Room, which overlooked the World Trade Center site, and was closed to the media and the public. Over the past 13 years, family members installed thousands of photographs, notes, tributes and other personal objects in remembrance of their loved ones.

In 2014, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum opened and a new family space was established. Most of the original Family Room’s contents have been transferred to the New York State Museum with the cooperation of family members who are dedicated to preserving the memory and history of this special room.

The exhibition includes artifacts from the Family Room, quotes from family members, large photographs of the room, and a visitor-operated digital program that includes full 360-degree images of the Family Room.

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