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New Exhibit at Children's Museum to Feature Pieces From 9/11

A new exhibit at the Oak Lawn Children's Museum will give children an up-close look at history and how Americans responded to the devastation of 9/11.

Children’s Museum of Oak Lawn Executive Director, Adam Woodworth, made a major announcement during the Jim Gill anniversary kick-off event held Wednesday, July 20th.

“The Rotary and the Village of Oak Lawn have donated two pieces of beam from the World Trade Center to the Children’s Museum,” Woodworth announced to the enthusiastic crowd.

Village officials unveiled the two beams during a special presentation involving Jane Quinlan, the Village Clerk, and Larry Deetjen, the Village Manager.

“On September 11, 2001, we had evil strike our country and we lost the world’s tallest building, the World Trade Center,” said Deetjen. “We’re going to look at the positive aspects that have come out of a tragedy like that, and what girls and boys like you can do as the future of this country. We’re going to be displaying the beams that we were able to get here in Oak Lawn and there will be a memorial so that all of us can remember what happened tragically 10 years ago.”

Back in December, the Oak Lawn community, among many other communities across the country, became the proud recipients of four total beams pulled from the wreckage at Ground Zero. A memorial honoring first responders is now in the works to be displayed near the Oak Lawn Metra Station.

This fall, two of the four beams will find their home at the Children’s Museum of Oak Lawn. They will be featured in a new exhibit called, “We the People," where children will have the opportunity to touch a piece of history and learn about the brave men and women that make up our country.

“We’re not going to focus on what happened on the day of 9/11," Woodworth said. "What we’re going to focus on with this exhibit is what happened on 9/12, and 9/13 and 9/14 and 9/15, and the days immediately following that terrible day. This is an exhibit that talks about patriotism and what it means to be an American.”

The exhibit will also focus on the concept of friendship and people coming together to help one another. Woodworth hopes that the exhibit will help spark conversations between kids and parents about helping others and the American spirit.

“Our goal is to have this exhibit together by September 11th if possible, so we’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Woodworth.

Donations towards this exhibit are now being taken online. You can visit the Children’s Museum of Oak Lawn website for more information about making a donation.

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