Bayside Historical Society Honors Local Heroes Of 9/11
The horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were a global experience. Families from around the world were affected by the loss of loved ones who died in the airplanes and the targets, which they struck.
Within hours after the collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Center, thousands of family, friends and other relations took to the city’s streets with homemade missing posters searching for loved ones.
In the end, with the twisted steel of the towers still smoldering beneath a massive pile, the death total reached more than 3,500 persons.
The grief from the losses were felt throughout New York City for many were hometown men and women, born and raised in the boroughs.
In recognition of their sacrifice, the Bayside Historical Society (BHS) at Fort Totten is currently displaying a unique exhibit dedicated to the men and women of Bayside who perished on that remarkable day.
Thanks to the research of East Bayside Homeowners Association President Frank Skala, the names of the 41 persons, members of various professions, have been collected for the exhibit.
“I used various sources including the alumni association of area high school’s such as Bayside High School while compiling the list,” Skala said. “It is the only such list dedicated to one neighborhood that I am aware of.”
“This unique exhibit shows that even with their innocence children of that time were still able to grasp the enormity of what took place on that awful day,” BHS President Carol Marion said.
BHS will also display a series of 11 photographs by Louis Mendez who took the images from a vantage point on Manhattan’s West Broadway which had a clear view of
the World Trade Center. The retired art professor depicts an empty street with the Twin Towers in the background in the first shot. The following images show the street filling up with panicked individuals running from the inferno. A final shot captures the second tower as it collapses.
Also on view is a sculpture of an alabaster eagle head entitled “Heroes,” also has a 9/11 theme. Ira L. Olson, a South Dakota artist whose mother survived the brutal firebombing of the German city Dresden during World War II, created it as a tribute to the general heroism of first responders. He etched the names of rescue workers who died responding to the 9/11 attack in glass onto the figure.
Olson first presented “Heroes” to the FDNY. BHS has it on loan, according to Alison McKay, BHS exhibit coordinator and archivist.
There will also be a sampling of articles that the New York Times, New York Post and other daily newspapers ran in the aftermath, plus a space for visitors to write their thoughts will be provided.
BHS is located in Fort Totten Park. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. This exhibit presently has no end date. For more information, call 718-352-1548 or visit baysidehistorical.org.