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Commemorations of September 11th 2001 at The Ukrainian Museum

The closing date for the current exhibition "September 11th 2001 in the Ukrainian Press" at The Ukrainian Museum has been extended from October 6 to November 8, 2002.

The aim of the exhibition is twofold: to mark the first anniversary of the horrific and painful events of September 11, 2001; and to reaffirm America's freedoms, which have sustained us through the recovery and rebuilding process during the past year.

The American Association of Museums and the Institute of Museum and Library Services proposed the initiative for this project. As stewards of the nation's stories and centers of community life, museums were invited to organize programs, exhibits and activities that would both commemorate the tragedy and highlight the richness of the American experience. Thus, The Ukrainian Museum joined other museums throughout our country in a nationwide effort entitled "Museum's Celebrate America's Freedoms: A Day of Remembrance."

Utilizing news articles, editorials and photographs from the pages of the Ukrainian American press, the Museum has organized an exhibition that presents an historical record of the day of the events of September 11th, 2001 and its aftermath. Included are several Ukrainian and English language newspapers, periodicals, magazines and the Ukrainian news service BRAMA on the Internet, that serve the Ukrainian American community in the United States and Canada. Among the represented publications are: America, Lemkivschyna, Narodna Volya, National Tribune, The New Pathway (from Canada), Our Life, Our Voice, The Patriarchate, Sower, Svoboda, Ukrainian Orthodox Word, and The Ukrainian Weekly among others.

Photographs depicting the devastation following the terrorist attack in New York City and the community response in the terrible aftermath support the exhibition. The photos were provided by Marta Baczynsky, Stefania Charczenko, Hanya Krill, Vasyl Lopukh and Andrew Rakowsky. A continually running slide show, organized by Hanya Krill from BRAMA.com-Gateway Ukraine, is included in the exhibition.

Visitor viewing the panel in memory of Oleh Wengerchuk

The Ukrainian Museum remembered and honored the victims of the terrorist attacks, especially two Ukrainians - Oleh Wengerchuk, who worked as an engineer for Washington Group International in the World Trade Center, and John Skala, who served with the Port Authority Police. Officer Skala was one of the first to respond to the emergency call during those first fateful hours following the attacks and lost his life in the line of duty. Hanya Krill of BRAMA conducted interviews with the families of both men, and the tape of their conversations is part of the Museum's exhibition.

Objects - mementos from the World Trade Center Towers.
Clockwise, from the top left: 1. an iron pin, part of the system which anchored the floors in the building; 2. a plaque with an inspirational saying by Vince Lombardi. (The object was recovered on Staten Island); 3. a marble remnant, part of the lobby wall of the North Tower (1 World Trade Center); 4. safety glass from a window of the South Tower (2 World Trade Center).

Small pieces - mementos, from the destroyed World Trade Center Towers - a fragment of marble, of glass, a steel pin, and an inspirational saying by Vince Lombardi, the great football coach, enclosed in a seemingly indestructable plastic case are displayed in the Museum and are part of the exhibit. These are on loan from Andrew Rakowsky, Senior Special Agent, U.S. Customs DEA Task Force, who worked in the rescue and recovery effort at Ground Zero and in Fresh Kills, Staten Island for several months. Mr. Rakowsky also loaned the Museum a video, which he personally made at the scene of devastation of the World Trade Center, two days following the terrorist attacks.

The exhibition was organized with the generous financial sponsorship of: Dr. Roman and Anna Alyskewycz, Jaroslaw and Katria Czerwoniak, Paul and Maria Czerwoniak, Andrey Hankevych, Maria Tershakovec and Roman Hawrylak, Myron and Olha Hnateyko, Prof. Taras and Olga Hunczak, Irene C. Ochrymovych, Wasyl Sosiak, Dr. Ihor and Olenka Terleckyj, Dr. Andrew and Tatiana Tershakovec, Tamara Tershakovec, Jaroslaw and Maria Tomorug and Walter and Katerina Wolowodiuk.

Members of the Lidia Krushelnytsky Art Studio with Ivan Bernadskyj, actor from the Maria Zankovetsky Theater in Ukraine, performing during the Museums commemorative program "Let Freedom Ring.

In addition to the exhibit, on September 15, 2002 the Museum presented a special event for the community entitled "Let Freedom Ring." The program of the event consisted of the HBO documentary film "In Memoriam: New York City 9-11-01" which brought back very strongly the cornucopia of emotions and feelings that ruled in the days after the attacks. The program also featured the reading of poetry in both Ukrainian and English languages, performed by members of the Lidia Krushelnytsky Art Studio: Adrian Berezovsky, Adam Hapij, Larisa Huryn, Ivan Kinal, Volodumyr Kurylo, Natalia Lysecky, Olenka Lysecky and Ivan Bernadskyj, an actor from the Maria Zankovetsky Theater in Kyiv. The poems chosen for the performance, such as the 43rd Psalm of Taras Shevchenko, Contra Spem Spero by Lesia Ukrainka, The Recessional by Rudyard Kipling, Ode Written in the Beginning of the Year 1746 by William Collins and an excerpt from the presentation The Year 2000 by Bohdan Boychuk, were powerful in their message of hope and courage, and in the overcoming of adversity through the strength of the human spirit.

Museums have changed dramatically in the last few decades. From somber, silent, scholarly sanctuaries, they have become the chroniclers not only of our past but monitors of our very present. The events of September 11th 2001 are very much a part of our daily lives today and will be for a very long time. The exhibition at the Museum brought into focus the graphics of the events, but the idea of the exhibit and the accompanying program crystallized our emotional and rational response to this terrible wound that was inflicted upon us. Although aware of the fragile nature of our lives, the enormous spiritual resourcefulness of people, our nation, its values and freedoms have never been more real and strong.

The exhibition is open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday, 1 - 5 PM. Exception dates: September 28 and 29th 2002.

Marta Baczynsky
Public Relations



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