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Union Square Scrolls
Located at the intersection, or union, of Broadway and Fourth Avenue, historic Union Square has traditionally served as a site for political and social activism. On September 11, 2001, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, several New York University students found themselves feeling helpless and were searching for a place in Lower Manhattan that was still in need of volunteers. To cope with this feeling, they placed rolls of paper and markers out in Union Square, which became a place of gathering. Visitors to the square were able to write their immediate reactions and emotions on the scrolls, creating a unique record of the response to 9/11. In 2003, over 200 scrolls from September 11th and the following days were donated to the New York State Museum by the students who organized this memorial.

Contact the History department for more information concerning researching in this collection.

Impromptu memorial at St. Paul's Chapel
Messages of support at St. Paul's

Flowers, cards and teddy bears at St. Pauls.
Messages of support at St. Paul's

St. Paul's Chapel
Its survival after the collapse of the nearby World Trade Center was remarkable. Due to its proximity to Ground Zero, the wrought iron fence surrounding the chapel became one large memorial. Americans expressed their grief and disbelief following the terrorist attacks with teddy bears, poems, personal tributes to lost loved ones, flowers, and various tokens of affection. Everyone had some type of reaction, whether it was for a friend or family member or even to reach out to a stranger.

A memorial at Liberty Plaza, between Broadway and Trinity Place.A memorial at Liberty Plaza, between Broadway and Trinity Place.
Scrolling view of the memorial at Liberty Plaza [Flash Version]

Memorial fence at Cedar Street and Broadway.
Memorial fence at Cedar Street and Broadway.
Liberty Plaza
Liberty Plaza, between Broadway and Trinity Place, was one of several sites in Lower Manhattan near Ground Zero where spontaneous memorial areas arose in the weeks following September 11th. Visual demonstrations of grief and sorrow as well as personal messages appeared on or near the fence on Broadway. The New York State Museum salvaged the three sections of fencing at the request of the Office of Emergency Mangement.