West Hempstead Public Library Director Regina Mascia was a clerk at the library’s old location located on Chestnut Street at the time of the September. 11 . attacks. She recalls receiving a phone call from a person she knew about the attacks. She was on the internet to understand what was going on.
“I could not even connect to the internet due to thousands of users on the internet at that time,” Mascia recalled. “The second thing I remember was hearing the sounds of the fire engines roaring along Hempstead Turnpike. The sirens could be heard throughout the entire community.”
With the events of the 9/11 attacks that are still fresh in her memory, Mascia sought ways that the library could inform people on the significance of that day. The library is participating in a month-long exhibition that is titled “September 11 2001: A Day that Changed the World.” The exhibit, which is hosted through The 9/11 Memorial & Museum, contains individuals’ stories from people who were witness to and survived the terror attacks. The exhibition features 14 posters. It includes archived photos and photographs of artifacts that are part of the museum’s collection of permanent items.
“I was of the opinion that considering the significance of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, it would be vital for us to take part,” Mascia said. “We believed it was important to give this opportunity to residents so they can learn more about the significance of 9/11.”
As a member of the American Library Association, Mascia claimed she was able to learn about the exhibit by contacting the group. 9/11 Museum 9/11 Museum, in Lower Manhattan has given to the West Hempstead library its photos for no cost, and the librarians put them in frames. The posters are now on the lower floor in the library. The library took its members on a bus ride to the museum years back, Mascia said, and she was amazed by the exhibit
“It’s an emotional location,” she said. “They provided us with about 2 1/2 hoursto explore, which was not enough time because there’s plenty of history to learn about.”
The museum’s poster exhibit was funded in part through the National Endowment for the Humanities which is an independent federal organization that funds research preservation, education, and public humanities programs. The museum clarified that any opinions, conclusions, findings or recommendations made in the exhibit are not necessarily the views or the views of NEH.
“During this year’s 20th anniversary we have the honor to pass on these lessons to an upcoming generation,” 9/11 Memorial & Museum President Alice Greenwald stated in a press release. “We hope to educate students about the continuing repercussions of the 9/11 attacks , and instill in them the notion that even in the most difficult of times, we can band together, be supportive of each other, and be able to renew and rebuild.”
“I am still unable to believe it’s been twenty years,” Mascia said. “We were hoping to honor the occasion by some manner, and so we’re hoping that people visit and witness it.”
The exhibit is open 7 every day of the week. The exhibit requires masks.