Peter Liebhold
September 11 Collecting Curator
Museum Specialist, Division of the History of Technology

"...people were coming in from Japan to see that site and to leave offerings at the location..."
One of the most difficult areas to collect around was Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. And in this situation there really was not much left, so it was very difficult to collect what did transpire, and the bulk of material was related to the public response to the events.

We were able to make connections, have conversations with the people that run the memorials in Pennsylvania at the site of the crash of Flight 93, to collect a few objects that show the incredible outpouring of interest and support by the American public to the sacrifices of those people on the flight. It was a local phenomenon, it was a national phenomenon, in fact it was a worldwide phenomenon. People were coming in from Japan to see that site and to leave offerings at the location.

Thereís always a tension between local history and national history, and itís clear that a local museum will be built at the site and that most of the artifacts should remain there. Yet we also want to make sure that portion of the story is told in the national museum. So to collect a few things to give them a place at the table, but not take everything.

We're still wrestling with how to tell the other portion of the story, the story of the people on board, the people who were on an airplane because it was a work place, the flight attendants, the flight crew, as well as the passengers.