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Somber reminder; Four local cities showcase exhibits on Sept. 11 attacks

To mark the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, exhibitions of artifacts from Ground Zero and the surrounding area will go on view Sunday in 30 spaces across New York State.

Four cities in Western New York will host segments of the "New York Remembers" exhibition of items from the collection of the New York State Museum: the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave.), the Niagara Falls Conference Center (101 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls), the Jamestown Municipal Building (200 E. Third St., Jamestown) and Batavia's City Hall (1 Batavia City Centre).

At the Burchfield Penney, a damaged Port Authority Police Department SUV will be on view, along with some 30 other smaller artifacts taken from the rubble of the twin towers. In Niagara Falls, artifacts include a piece of one of the planes that crashed into the buildings. Jamestown's municipal building will host a piece of an NYPD firetruck and Batavia's exhibition contains an unmarked Port Authority vehicle taken from the rubble.

The exhibitions, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, "will give New Yorkers in towns, villages and cities all across the state a gathering place to once again stand as one community to make sure we never forget those who lost their lives on September 11th and to embrace the spirit of unity that brought us together on that day of devastating tragedy."

According to Richard Bamberger, a spokesman for Cuomo's office, each exhibition will feature a timeline of events leading up to the attacks as well as a minute-by-minute chronicle of how they played out. Bamberger said that small objects on view, though a specific list of items was not available, will include items such as charred gun holsters, fragments of New York City taxi cabs and other detritus pulled from the site of the attacks in Lower Manhattan.

The objects come from the collection of the New York State Museum in Albany and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. A wide range of first responders, victims' family members, public officials and leaders of national organizations related to the Sept. 11 attacks expressed support for the exhibitions in a release from Cuomo's office.

Lee A. Ielpi, president of the September 11th Families' Association, described the project as a way to honor the victims of the attacks and to inform future generations about those who lost their lives and contributed to the rescue effort.

"I've committed the past 10 years to ensuring that the stories of September 11th are kept alive. I want to honor the memory of all of the victims of those terrorist attacks, including my son Jonathan, and I want people to remember the tens of thousands of people who reached out to help total strangers on the 11th and in the aftermath," Ielpi said in the release. "I strongly believe we need to teach young people everywhere about all aspects of 9/1 1."

The exhibitions run through September and will all be open Sept. 11. For more information, visit www.nysm.nysed.gov.

email: cdabkowski@buffnews.com

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