Atlanta History Center Honors First Responders In New September 11th Exhibition

A painting of retired New York Fire Department Captain Brenda Berkman.

Kate Bergan

A new temporary exhibition at Atlanta History Center commemorates first responders who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and the days that followed. “Responding Heroes: Remembering September 11, 2001,” will showcase artwork honoring the memories of frontline rescuers, some of which was made by first responders themselves.

Michael Rose, Chief Mission Officer for the Atlanta History Center, described portraits of first responders by Kate Bergen, a paramedic and artist from New Jersey. There will also be lithographs created in trauma therapy by another responder. He also detailed other artist’s contributions in honor of responders, “simple things as easy as the U.S. postage stamps that were created the following year… as well as an EMS journal with a cover story on 9/11, and also some actual Marvel Comic publications that were created in honor of 9/11.”

The exhibit also includes oral histories, an interactive element in which visitors can share their feelings and stories, and even physical artifacts from Ground Zero. “We also have a piece, actually, of the building itself, the North Tower. And that is in what we consider a Memorial Room, that will have a timeline of the day as well as a piece of chain link fence [where] we’re asking the public to write memorials or comments,” said Rose.

A QR code at the exhibit will link visitors to interviews with first responders and, in one case, a survivor who had escaped from inside one of the falling towers. The interviews will also remain accessible through the Atlanta History Center’s website.

“Responding Heroes: Remembering September 11, 2001,” is on view through Oct. 17th. More information is available at