On the morning of September 11, 2001, just fifteen minutes after hearing the alarm, the FDNY’s elite Rescue Company 2—Lieutenant Peter Martin and firefighters William Lake, Daniel Libretti, John Napolitano, Lincoln Quappe, Kevin O’Rourke, and Edward Rall—arrived at the unfolding World Trade Center tragedy. All seven were killed when the building collapsed. In all, 2,977 lives were lost that day and hundreds have died from illnesses related to the attack's aftermath.
Immediately following the attacks, the New-York Historical Society launched its History Responds collecting initiative. New-York Historical curators took the lead in documenting the history that was all around them, from the World Trade Center disaster site to makeshift memorials and shrines, and the responses of schools, places of worship, and businesses.
This truck door and other parts of the Rescue Company 2 "rig" were salvaged at the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island. Additional objects related to September 11 are on display in Objects Tell Stories on the 4th Floor.
History Responds continues to record important events and crises for future generations. Our most recent collecting efforts have focused on the COVID-19 Pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests.
Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Evelyn & Seymour Neuman Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.