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In 2011, the Cherokee County History & Arts Museum presented this special exhibit for the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  This year, the exhibit returns, as a memorial to those who lost their lives, their families, and the many who assisted in the rescue, recovery, and cleanup. The “9/11 Twentieth Anniversary Memorial Exhibit” at the Cherokee County History & Arts Museum will consist of artifacts and accounts of the events of September 11, 2001, and its aftermath, told through stories and artifacts. The exhibit will bear witness to the tragic events of 9/11/01 in New York City and demonstrate the courage and determination of the heroes who worked together to search for survivors and assist in the long recovery that followed.

Figuring prominently in the exhibit will be the rescue ministry offered at Saint Paul’s Chapel, the Episcopal church directly across the street from the World Trade Center, under the leadership of Gaffney native, Reverend Lyndon F. Harris. In the ensuing eight and one-half months (through June 2, 2002), the chapel was home to thousands of rescue workers, offering services such as massage therapy, chiropractic care, podiatry, grief counseling and food. Musicians also played four concerts per day. Over the duration of this ministry, more than 500,000 meals were served from Saint Paul’s Chapel.

Other stations in the exhibit will include inspiring work of artists, displays from the 2011 exhibit of the same name, tributes to local first responders and opportunities to honor and support them.  In 2011, the Museum partnered with Gaffney High School to sponsor the “Where Were You?” oral history project. U.S. history students participated in the project by interviewing others regarding their whereabouts on September 11, 2001. These interviews are available, along with the opportunity to contribute to that project with your own recollections.

Rev. Harris will share amazing experiences as the priest in charge of the relief ministries at St. Paul’s Chapel hours after the attacks of 9/11 as part of the exhibit programming (time to be announced). His presentation is one of extraordinary courage, resilience, and love. His story shows how human beings can rise above a tragic occasion with grace and love. He has traveled nationally and internationally speaking to churches, civic groups and academic institutions about the transformative experiences of St. Paul’s Chapel and the wider community’s response to 9/11. He has appeared on many news programs and networks, including CBS News, CBS Sunday Morning, ABC News, NBC News, CNN, NPR, and The History Channel.  In preparation for the exhibit, visitors are encouraged to view the SCETV production of Eyewitness to 9/11: An Upstate Story, produced in the 2011 exhibit, available at www.cherokeecountyhistory.org on the Events and Exhibits pages.

On Saturday, September 11 (Patriot Day) a “Morning of Remembrance” will be held in the exhibit with special remarks by the Rev. Wilbur Jameson, followed by prayer and participation in the National Moments of Silence. The exhibit will remain open until 2pm on 9/11. Attendance for the Morning of Remembrance and the exhibit will be open to the public and free to all on 9/11.

As a Blue Star Museum, the 9/11 and all Museum exhibits will be free of charge to active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve at all times.  In addition, CHAPS is extending free admission to all first responders.  Regular cost for exhibit is included with admission to the Cherokee County History and Arts Museum: $5/adults and $3/children under twelve.  Visit www.cherokeecountyhistory.org for more information.

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