Penn Museum 9/11 exhibit

PHILADELPHIA - September 11, 2011

It's called Excavating Ground Zero: Fragments from 9/11, and it is a collection of everyday objects that anthropologists excavated from the ruins of the World Trade Center Complex.

A pair of broken eyeglasses sits alongside a fire alarm from the Twin Towers. There's a singed sign from a stairwell that was the path to safety for thousands of panicked people….shards of broken glass from the buildings…. and a nearly incinerated computer keyboard.All of the objects are on loan from the September 11th museum in New York.

Richard Hodges from the Penn Museum says, "The intention is just to give a sense of the normality of these places and at the same time to make you think about it."

There's a wall of comments made on that fateful day by leaders like New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and President George Bush. Visitors are invited to share their own thoughts and remembrances as well.

"It's an attempt to bring you as an individual here, not to say this or that should have happened or actually did happen, but to actually reflect on what it means for you," added Hodges.

The exhibit also includes actual scenes from 9/11 and a timeline of that day with quotes from victims. Florence Jones, trapped on the 77th floor of the South Tower, asked a 9-1-1 operator, "Will I have to jump?'

Hodges continued, "I think it was a millennial moment. I think the whole world began to understand we're all part of one small nation, so to speak, and we all shared in that tragedy in some form or another."

The exhibit runs through mid-October. Today, the museum is holding a full program of events. Go to the Penn Museum for all of the details.

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