David Shayt
September 11 Collecting Curator
Museum Specialist, Division of Cultural History

"The Smithsonian now has a fire truck door from the New York Fire Department..."
The Smithsonian now has a fire truck door from the New York Fire Department, FDNY. It comes from the Fresh Kills landfill. It combines the crushing action of what happened on September 11--this door is completely folded in--with the emblematic signature of the Fire Department of New York. Itís those two ingredients we found on a door that we were able to rescue.

We could not rescue an entire fire truck. As important as they were, as distinguishing as they are, all of the problems of transport, and care, and display, really defied our attention.

One thing we have to keep in mind whenever collecting something, is its ability to be used in exhibition. A fire truck door is much more versatile and accessible than an entire truck would be...This door presented itself to us as a perfect emblem for the disaster and for recognizing the sacrifice and the efforts of the Fire Department of New York.