The beige walk-through metal detector is now part of every air traveler’s life. Now the machine is part of the collections of the National Museum of American History.
The Transportation Security Administration donated more than two dozen items to the museum Thursday for its official repository of the materials of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. Several of the TSA items are part of a temporary exhibition, “September 11: Remembrance and Reflection.”
The museum decided to display more than 50 items it has collected over the last decade on open tables so the public can have unobstructed views. “This is an unprecedented close-up view of the 9/11 objects,” said Marc Pachter, the museum’s interim director.
Because of the special nature of the exhibit and the subject matter, the museum has limited the exhibition to nine days, starting Saturday.
At the morning ceremony, John S. Pistole, the TSA administrator, called for a moment of silence for the victims of the attacks at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and the airplane crash outside Shanksville, Pa. Pistole said he knew immediately, watching the television coverage of the attacks: “This changes everything.”
The TSA items in the exhibit include: uniforms; grey security checkpoint containers, confiscated items, a red plastic training weapon, the wand or handheld metal detector and a training dummy.
The museum has also put on the tables, which will be overseen by curators, signs from the World Trade Center, a coiled reinforcement bar from the Pentagon and a “call button” from the wreckage of Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pa.
The exhibition also features excerpts from the Smithsonian Channel documentary “9/11: Stories in Fragments,” which will air in its entirely September 5 on the Smithsonian Channel. Inc.
Another dimension of the September 11 experience is detailed at the Newseum, which has expanded its Federal Bureau of Investigation exhibit. The new section covers the work of the FBI as the “War on Terrorism” consumed the law enforcement agencies, as well as the focus of the media.
The exhibit includes several large objects, collected by the FBI, and the airplane parts from Flight 175, found several blocks from the World Trade Center, stand out. There are small items, such as cell phones, that kept ringing for days. A timeline on a railing around the exhibition asks some important questions that discuss the media’s role: “Do Terrorists Need Television.” Everyone is still debating that.
“War on Terror: The FBI’s New Focus” opens Friday. Admission to the Newseum will be free September 10 and 11.