A new short-term exhibit has opened in the Front Door Gallery at the Finney County Historical Museum in Garden City, marking 20 years since the 911 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
Entitled “Remembering 911,” the display recounts the day of the attacks on Sept. 11 of 2001, and tells the story of how Finney County and Garden City were affected, including the unexpected grounding of three large jetliners with 180 passengers at Garden City Regional Airport.
The exhibit includes six high-quality photographs of the WTC and the Pentagon attacks by Al Qaeda terrorists, most familiar but still shocking to many Americans. In addition, there are four full front pages from the Garden City Telegram published on Sept. 11 and subsequent days.
Viewers will also find 18 quotes and excerpts from local and area residents, as well as airline passengers who landed in Garden City, some reacting on or shortly after the day the suicide terrorists struck and others with a 20-year retrospective view. Certain statements focus on how the community accommodated the temporarily-stranded airline passengers from a pair of Boeing 757s and an Airbus 320. Others recall the trauma of seeing death and destruction unfolding live on television or waiting to learn whether loved ones had been killed or were safe.
A unique image entitled “The Towers,” by the late Southwest Kansas artist Jesse Montes, has been incorporated into the display as well. The 32 by 25-inch piece is on loan from Duane and Orvileta West, who curated many of the artist’s works.
The Front Door Gallery is a small space inside the museum’s main entrance at 403 S. Fourth Street in Garden City’s Finnup Park. Effective Aug. 9, fall viewing hours will run from 1 to 5 p.m. seven days weekly. Admission is free. All other museum displays are accessible simultaneously.
“Remembering 911” is the fourth exhibit of 2021 in the gallery, and it will remain in place through Sept. 11 and afterward until the holiday season. It follows a previous feature entitled “Unmentionables, An Intimate Peek at the Underside of Victorian Era Fashion,” “Beyond Charity,” which noted the 25th anniversary of the Western Kansas Community Foundation, and an inaugural display for the year that marked the 160th birthday of the State of Kansas.