September 11 Latino/a Collections

September 11 Latino/a New Acquisitions & Objects in the Collections

New Collecting

  • Univision journalist Blanca Rosa Vilchez’s blouse and jacket
    • Peruvian-American Univision journalist Blanca Rosa Vilchez was near the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, to cover the city’s primary elections. After witnessing the collapse of the Twin Towers, she ran for her life but stayed on the scene, reporting the news about the attacks for Univision. She continued to report on the events for three days straight. She had selected this blue jewel toned blouse and black jacket specifically for that day because the weather forecast predicted a blue-sky day. She never wore these clothes again.
    • The museum also collected her oral history as part of its “Escuchame” Spanish language TV project.
  • Ivonne Coppola Sanchez
    • Puerto Rican Ivonne Coppola Sanchez donated a sweatshirt she wore as a New York Fire Department Emergency Medical Services first responder at Ground Zero, searching for survivors. She worked to set up a makeshift morgue, during which New York-based photographer Joel Meyerowitz captured a portrait in which she wore the sweatshirt.
    • Non-profit organization New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health used her portrait in their city-wide Spanish outreach campaign to support Latino workers at risk due to the debris from the events of September 11.
  • Milagros Batista
    • Milagros Batista wore this white blouse and jewelry to a vigil for the families and survivors of Sept.11.
    • Batista, along with a group of social workers, family members of victims, and survivors, launched an art healing program called “Heart to Heart” for children and adults. The program also provided food and rent relief for families.

From the original 2001 collecting initiative

  • Maria Cecilia Benavente’s shoes
    • Maria Cecilia Benavente, an employee of Aon Risk Services, Inc., wore these shoes as she evacuated her office on the 103rd floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
    • She wore backless, or “flippy sandals” as she called them, which she took off at a landing because others told her she was holding up the people behind her. She carried the sandals with her down the tower and through the streets of Manhattan because her feet had swelled and could no longer fit into the sandals.
  • US Army Reserve 311th Quartermaster Company (Mortuary Affairs), from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (group photo)
  • Collage of active Mortuary Affairs staff working on identifying remains (circa 2002)
    • Mortuary Affairs Processing Kit from Pentagon Recovery Teams
    • The 311th Quartermaster Company, Mortuary Affairs unit from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico used these items while they were stationed at Fort Myer, Virginia, near the Pentagon. They served as part of the Joint Personal Effects Depot (JPED) processing team following the September 11 attacks.
    • The JPED aimed to receive, safeguard, process, store, and determine the final disposition of the personal items of people killed, injured, or missing during the attacks. The team photographed, cleaned, bagged, and inventoried each item, and families could look for a binder containing forms with a photograph of and information on each item to retrieve unidentified objects.
    • The 311th were called in within days of the attack and remained for eight months.
  • Beatriz Susana Genoves, greeter for the Windows on the World restaurant on September 11, portrait and uniform
    • The Windows on the World restaurant was located on the 107th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. More than seventy people at work died when the building collapsed on September 11.
    • On September 11, Beatriz Susana Genoves was greeting visitors coming up from the 78th floor sky lobby and leading them up an express elevator up to the 106th floor, where a conference was being held. When the attack happened, she walked down 78 flights of stairs to escape and save her life. She heard a cry for help from a man trapped upstairs on her walkie-talkie as she escaped.

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