The World Speaks
Publication Date: August 2011
Almost two million people from across the United States and around the world have come through the museum galleries of the Tribute WTC Visitor Center since it opened in September 2006 right across the street from the World Trade Center site. Many of these visitors have written their poignant reflections about the impact of September 11th on visitor cards that are collected in the Center’s final gallery. To date, the Center has collected 200,000 cards written in 48 languages by people from 120 countries.
For the first time ever, this book brings together a choice selection of these cards, many of which talk about the inspiration people find in the outpouring of humanity in response to September 11th. In seeing the selflessness of first responders and ordinary citizens who rushed to help strangers and friends on that day, and in the many months of recovery that followed, adults and young people write that they have been inspired to help others in their communities and around the world.
Moving us toward the future with empathy and hope, 9/11: The World Speaks is a remarkable collection of cards that include elaborate drawings, stories of personal experiences on September 11th, notes written by family members of victims, and statements by people of all cultural backgrounds decrying the use of violence. The book also features a preface from Tom Brokaw.
About the Tribute WTC Visitor Center The Tribute WTC Visitor Center is located at 120 Liberty Street in New York City along the south side of the World Trade Center site. The Tribute Center was created by the September 11th Families' Association, a section 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, to share the personal stories of victims, survivors, rescue and recovery workers, residents of Lower Manhattan, and volunteers who responded to help in the recovery. Today, volunteers representing all of these constituencies share their stories daily with visitors to the Tribute Center and on our walking tours of the World Trade Center site. Volunteers share the authentic experiences of those most affected by the events of February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001. In the Tribute Center, visitors experience person-to-person accounts through videos, audios, and printed quotations. The stories recount the dynamism of the World Trade Center community prior to September 11, 2001, the day of the attacks, the nine months of recovery, and a poignant memorial to the victims where photographs contributed by their families are displayed. The Tribute Center concludes by offering visitors a place to engage in dialogue about 9/11 and share their own feelings and thoughts about the future.The Tribute Center conveys the courage, grief, and heroism of those who responded to the tragedy and the steps taken towards working for a more peaceful world by many of those impacted by the events. The Tribute Center welcomes visitors seven days a week. Please visit our website for details: www.tributewtc.org. The Tribute Center's educational materials for young people emphasize the humanity and compassion that arose in response to the attacks, www.tributewtc.org/programs/toolkit.html. About Lee Ielpi Lee Ielpi is a native of Great Neck, New York. Lee is a father of two girls, Anne Marie and Melissa, and two boys, Jonathan and Brendan, and grandfather of seven grandchildren. Lee volunteered with his local Great Neck Vigilant Fire Department and spent his career as a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department serving as a member of Rescue 2. Since losing his son Jonathan Lee Ielpi, Squad 288, FDNY, at the World Trade Center, Lee has dedicated himself to responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center with an eye towards making tomorrow a better day. He joined with the September 11th Families' Association in November 2001 to represent the interests of the 9/11 community. Lee has served on the Board of Directors since 2002 and has served as the Board President since 2007. In 2004, Lee along with Jennifer Adams co-founded the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. Forewordy by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Preface by Tom Brokaw.
Lee Ielpi, a retired New York City firefighter who lost his son on Sept. 11, 2001, is co-founder of the Tribute WTC Visitors Center at ground zero. The center, which celebrates the lives of the victims, has collected reflections of visitors in a new book. More at NPR.org
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“It's very heartwarming to read the thoughts of the people that come to the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. We are so grateful to see that so many people around the world have been inspired by our city's resilience.” –Robert De Niro
“This heartbreaking and breathtaking collection of remembrances is deeply personal yet universal. The eloquent simplicity of these reflections is a moving tribute to both the survivors and the victims of that terrible day. Reading this wonderful book reminds us that our sense of community and our essential humanity remain strong.” —Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York; Former President, Brown University; Former President, New York Public Library
"The voices from the postcards left at Ground Zero are unbearably poignant. The letters written by family members are raw with emotion that never fades, even years later. . . . These simple, powerful words will linger with me. I urge you to read these letters." --from the Foreword by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
"Left by visitors from 120 countries, these poignant drawings and notes express pain, sympathy and hope." —People Magazine
". . . passionate tributes left by visitors to ground zero collected by Lee Ielpi." —New York Times