SEPTEMBER 11
BEARING WITNESS TO HISTORY

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Negative #: 2002-3658


Location: World Trade Center
Source: Gift of Antonio Nino Vendome


Related Objects



Apron from Nino's Restaurant
Description: This apron is covered with uniform patches from grateful patrons of Nino's restaurant, a relief center for World Trade Center recovery workers.

Context: Many Americans looked for ways to help after the September 11 attacks. One New York City businessman, Antonio Nino Vendome, turned his family restaurant into a relief center. Staffed by volunteers and supported largely by donations, Nino’s served hundreds of thousands of free meals twenty-four hours a day to firefighters, police officers, Red Cross workers, and others at the World Trade Center site. For many, Nino’s became a refuge, a place to find companionship and support as well as a meal. Many of the workers left their organizational patches as tokens of thanks, which Nino attached to kitchen aprons and hung on the wall.

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Nino’s restaurant
Messages and gifts of support crowd the walls at Nino’s restaurant.
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Nino Vendome and his mother
Nino Vendome and his mother in front of the bar at Nino’s restaurant, with patch-covered aprons and cards from well-wishers behind them.
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Nino’s leaflet
A leaflet pays tribute to the rescue and recovery workers served at Nino’s restaurant.
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Restauranteur and philanthropist Antonio Nino Vendome
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Excerpt of interview with Nino Vendome
“We’ve made a commitment to keep our doors open until our city is rebuilt, healed and up-and-running. To that end, we created the Nino’s Restaurant 9/11 Fund, a non-profit corporation operated exclusively as a relief center that feeds and comforts rescue [...]
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Brochure for Nino's America's Kitchen
As the Trade Center clean-up work neared completion, Nino’s was converted from a feeding center for site workers back to a regular restaurant. Decorated with memorabilia from rescue workers and inspirational messages from the general public, it was hoped [...]
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"...his restaurant was cranking, 24 hours a day, every day of the week with volunteer workers and donated food..."
David Shayt
September 11 Collecting Curator. Museum Specialist, Division of Cultural History

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