Last pieces of 9/11 rubble reach memorials
The last pieces from the Twin Towers still stored in Hangar 17, which had been exposed to the view of thousands, left under Passiak’s watchful eye. For six years, she coordinated the distribution of almost 2,800 pieces under the control of the site’s owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Among them, there was no individual, personal object: a damaged police car, sunglasses sold at one of the stores in the building, but mostly massive objects, fragments of the destroyed skyscrapers in lower Manhattan. There was a lot of steel, including several of the tridents, the distinctive forked steel structures on the facade at the base of the buildings, each weighing several dozen tons.
In 2009, the Port Authority decided to distribute the objects to non-profit organisations and government entities for use in public memorial projects. Already working at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Passiak was chosen to supervise the program.
Passiak, who is in her 30s and holds a master’s degree in museum studies, discovered a universe about which she knew almost nothing. She had no close family connection to the victims of the attacks, or the police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel, nothing that could create a link, even an indirect one, with the attack.