ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gerry Forino and Anthony Basic peered at
panoramic photos of the Fresh Kills landfill, looking for the spot
where they spent 11 months sifting through debris hauled away from
the World Trade Center site.
"This was our front yard," Forino, an FBI agent, said,
pointing to a mound of burned and crushed cars.
The photos documenting the debris-sorting effort are part of a
new exhibit focusing on the response to, and recovery from, the
Sept. 11, 2001, attack on Manhattan.
The exhibit, the second in a two-part series by the New York
State Museum, is entitled "World Trade Center: Rescue Recovery
Response." It opens Friday. On Thursday, recovery workers and
agency officials got a preview.
Three large airplane fragments - a piece of metal wedged into a
burned and bent steel beam, landing gear for a Boeing 767 and part
of a wing - were on display.
Nearby was part of the fence that once closed ground zero off
from the streets around it. It was accompanied by items that lined
the fence during the months when it became an impromptu shrine for
visitors: entwined rosary beads, dried flowers, red, white and blue
paper swans and laminated poems hung above a collection of teddy
bears and candles. There were also cards that children across the
nation made for firefighters.
Among the items memorializing the Fresh Kills effort were a
worker's protective suit and a plastic bucket used to collect
findings. There were also recovered objects, including charred
metal floor numbers and a chipped yellow thimble of the kind sold
on the trade center's observation deck.
Forino and Basic, a police officer for the Port Authority, were
part of the team that sorted 1.8 million tons of rubble at Fresh
Kills, located on Staten Island. They came to the exhibit Thursday,
as did Detectives Gregory Maeder and Irene Merola of the New York
Police Department, who also spent 11 months at Fresh Kills.
"They filled the room with enough detail," Maeder said.
"To get the feel of what went on..." said Merola.
"...without the dirt and dust," Maeder said.
The exhibit also has interactive computer stations where
visitors can listen to recorded memories of the World Trade Center.
The bittersweet accounts include commuters enjoying the sunset
framed between the two towers, and scenes from "Vanessa and John's
Wedding on Top of the World."
State Education Director Rick Mills said he hopes children and
future generations use the exhibit to learn about the terrorist
attack.
"There are things in this room that will help us tell the
story," he said.
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On the Net: http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)