Like many Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, Joe Pisano remembers exactly what he was doing when he heard the news of the terrorist attacks.
“I was at home getting ready for work, turned on the TV, and just became glued,” said Pisano, artist and Navy reservist. “I was about three hours late for work, I actually didn't care at that point.”
To this day he still remembers the devastating scenes that played out on his TV.
“Almost everyone will remember that, ‘Oh, yeah, you know, we were attacked, two planes went into the towers,’ but the names and the victims, they actually end up getting forgotten,” said Pisano.
He wants to make sure that doesn't happen.
“I started embarking on a concept image that would allow people to be able to heal from it, but not, you know, open wounds,” Pisano said.
A few months ago, while assisting with the USS Bonhomme Richards fire recovery efforts, as a serviceman in the Navy, Pisano began working on a piece to honor the many lives lost in the 9/11 attacks.
“It just keeps me sane and happy,” Pisano said.
It took Pisano roughly five months to complete this display. Filled with a lot of emotion and symbolism it illustrates the twin towers before the attack.
“The towers are 10 feet tall, about a little over 30,000 drywall screws,” Pisano said.
The piece also includes pressure gauges paying tribute to the first responders who lost their lives in the attack and some sacred ash from ground zero. But perhaps most importantly and most moving is how each victim is represented. The names of all 2,977 victims have been written on the display.
“It's been an emotional piece,” Pisano said. “But when people see it for the first time, that have lost someone, and they really embrace it, that makes it all worth it.”
He hopes their stories and legacies will go on and those who see this exhibit are reminded of the importance of never forgetting that horrible day.
The exhibit will be on display at the USS Midway Museum through Sunday.