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File photo at the memorial for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Photo by Giorgio Viera.
The Riverwalk 9/11 Monument in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Photo: Giorgio Viera.

The National Museum of American History recognizes the contributions of the Latino community on 9/11

Two decades after 9/11, the National Museum of American History is adding some commemorations of Latino contributions from the tragedy to its collection.

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On Tuesday, Sept. 7, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the National Museum of American History announced that it will be adding items that commemorate the contributions of Latinos from the tragic day.

One item is a blouse worn by a Univision journalist who covered the terrorist attacks that day.

"At the National Museum of American History, we are committed to keeping the memory of that day alive with a wide range of communities to actively expand the stories of Americans in the post-9/11 world," said Museum Director Anthea Hartig.

Nearly two decades ago, journalist Blanca Rosa Vilchez was near the World Trade Center in New York. While covering the city's primary elections, she witnessed the collapse of the two skyscrapers that were hit by commercial airliners.

Vilche continued to report from the scene for several days wearing the same blue blouse and black pants. Both garments have been added to the museum's exhibition.

"After two decades we continue to feel the complex and lasting personal and national ramifications of the attacks."

Ivonne Coppola Sanchez also participated in the rescue efforts that day as one of the first responders, part of an emergency team dressed in athletic gear. One of her garments will also be featured in the 9/11 exhibit. Coppola was part of the team that set up a makeshift morgue on the site where the World Trade Center towers collapsed.

The museum has a digital tool open to the public called "Share Your 9/11 Story," a virtual space that invites people to share the effect 9/11 had on their community and how they feel about living in the post-9/11 world. The platform is in Spanish and is in collaboration with El Museo del Barrio, the Consulate General of Mexico in New York, and the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington D.C. to develop the material.

In addition, the museum has recently acquired narrative documents from New York's Latino community, and will feature three virtual panels exploring stories of the experiences of the city's Latino and Chinese communities.

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