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A candle light vigil at union square
A candlelight vigil at Union Square.
Photo by Paul Fusco / Magnum Photos

In the days that followed September 11th, people reacted to the devastation in a number of ways. Unprompted memorials started to appear around New York City as well as localized memorials throughout the country. School children, loved ones, and distressed Americans sent teddy bears, cards, banners, and artwork to numerous agencies and individuals who provided necessary aid in the wake of the tragedy.

The New York State Museum was able to collect and document memorials and memorial objects from St. Paul’s Chapel, Liberty Plaza, New York State Office of Tax and Finance, the New York City Fire Department, the New York Police Department, the Fresh Kills Recovery Operation, the Salvation Army, and from across the country and around the world.