Saturday, March 28, 2009

Patriotic Unity Card Series

A partiotic notecard lets you know that your purchase provides direct assistance to children impacted by September 11th. A good example of a household item. The card and envelope definitely live up to the "Patriotic Unity Card Series."

Johnny Lightning American Heroes

A number objects after September 11th were patriotic in nature, and didn't necessarily mention 9/11. This Johnny Lightning American Heroes model car is an example. It is clearly influenced by 9/11 based on the description of police, firefighters, and EMTs as American Heroes. This description became more mainstream after 9/11, and reflected in many different objects (such as this toy). Another piece of evidence is the window cling American flag included with the toy car. Such an item would not have been included before 9/11.

Comic Book Response

Here are the tribute volumes that were created by comic book writers and artists in tribute to September 11th.

A Moment of Silence

Marvel comics tribute.

Spider-Man Black Cover

This issue of Spider-Man offered a black cover in tribute of September 11th.

Captain America Fights Terror

Not surprising to see Captain America fighting terrorists in reaction to September 11th. This was a mult-part series.

Superman at WTC

The following postings are related to comics (comic books) and this "industry's" reaction to September 11th. As I've mentioned, September 11th impacted material culture in a way that no other event has in American history. It may be fair to say September 11th had an impact (definition impossible) on the world too. Comics and comic books have always reflected "real world" events. For example, during WWII, Wonder Woman battled the Nazis as one of her foes. In the following posts, comic book writers and artists react in concert, offering a number of tributes. In this example here, an American icon, Superman, carries a firefighter away from the rubble of the WTC.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to Commemorate 9/11 from eHow Holidays and Celebrations Editor

Heard of eHow? I hadn't until now. I found this post of interest.

There are many ways to recognize and remember 9/11, depending upon where you live and its personal meaning to you. Some may regard it on a purely patriotic level, focusing on the fact that the United States was attacked by terrorists from the Middle East, while others may respond to it on a much more personal level, especially if they knew someone who perished in the attack.

  • Step 1 Visit New York City and pay tribute to all of those who lost their lives by touring Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center towers once stood. Visit the Viewing Wall on Church Street, which is a temporary monument that lists the name of every person who died in the towers on 9/11.
  • Step 2 Wear a commemorative ribbon on your lapel to remind yourself and others of that fateful day, and to never forget those who lost their lives. There are many types of 9/11 ribbons, but most of them are red, white and blue, and are printed with the date of the attacks.
  • Step 3 Collect 9/11 memorabilia, such as stamps, coins, art, photos and DVDs relating to the events that happened that day.
  • Step 4 Become involved with one of the many non-profit organizations doing charity work for 9/11 related causes, such as the World Trade Center Memorial Fund, the September Project (which sponsors 9/11 related events in public libraries) and the 9/11 Victims Memorial Quilt Project (see Resources below).
  • Step 5 Talk to people who witnessed the events of 9/11 and listen to their detailed accounts of what it was like to be in lower Manhattan that day. Most of the guides for the 9/11 walking tours were eyewitnesses and have many harrowing stories to tell.

New York cracks down on illegal selling of 9/11 memorabilia

This article from Guardian News appeared in late fall of 2008, and I found it worth incorporating here. Many of the objects that are available at WTC site are tourist-focused and commemorative goods. I have some objects like this, but these aren't as interesting or unique as the mainstream and general consumer goods I've explored here.

Sidewalks and streets at Ground Zero were, at least temporarily, free of illegal vendors and hawkers on Monday afternoon after city officials demanded a crackdown on the selling of September 11 memorabilia, knockoff designer handbags and watches.

"You can't hawk at Ground Zero. It's distasteful and it's illegal," said Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer. "It gives Ground Zero a carnival atmosphere. It's inappropriate, especially for the families that go there to pay their respects."

Scores of September 11 hawkers have become a mainstay at Ground Zero. They flash photographs of exploding debris and images of the twin towers crumbling in the faces of tourists and passersby at the Liberty Street New York fire department firehouse, and in front of the Tribute Centre, the official World Trade Centre museum.

Some hawkers even sell the pictures at the fence where tourists gather to view the site by a Port Authority sign saying it is "prohibited" for vendors to sell there. The sign asks tourists to "refrain" from buying items. It also suggests tourists buy their collectibles at the Tribute Centre gift shop, which "offers authorised commemorative WTC items." Proceeds are donated to the September 11th Families Association.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flight 93 Crock

A handmade and painted crock pays tribute to Flight 93. An example of a household container, this object is striking.

Created With Steel From the World Trade Center

This steel plaque depicts the Twin Towers and relates that it is cast from steel from the World Trade Center. It is not clear to me who created this tribute medal, but it is a very unique object. There are definitely other tribute items that were created form actual WTC steel, but they are few in number. I have posted another tribute plaque that may make such a claim. There is no questioning the above plaque's claim of being cast with WTC steel, especially since it is cast (or engraved) on the backside. Supposedly this plaque was very limited and given to families of the victims of 9/11.
This is an object meant for those who want to connect with WTC and September 11th. What better way to feel a connection than owning your own object created with actual steel from Towers 1 and 2. A very simple object with a powerful message and association. Also, it offers a strong motivation for buyers. I have seen this object listed for as much as $1000. I'm sure people paid that much. Not me of course.

A Portion of the Proceeds

These three calendars focus on different images, but share a commonality in that all offer a portion of the proceeds to be donated to 9/11 victim funds. The telltale "portion of proceeds" relates an important marketing message and is motivator for consumers. Why do companies put this on their product? Couldn't they just make a donation without publishing it on their consumer goods? The label clearly is a sales pitch. What's a dollar when a paper calendar brings in $15? Is this an example of corporate greed and capitalism in action? A blend of consumerism and doing good.

Bobble Dreams: Complete with American Flag

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: A bobblehead doll, also known as a bobbing head doll, nodder, or wobbler, is a type of collectible doll. Its head is often oversized compared to its body. Instead of a solid connection, its head is connected to the body by a spring in such a way that a light tap will cause the head to bobble, hence the name. Read more here.
Bobblehead dolls represent a variety of people and characters. Giveaways at sports venues are a common use of bobbleheads. This bobblehead doll depicts a NY firefighter holding an American flag. This is a tribute that was offered after 9/11. There were a number of doll variations, ranging from a cop to eagle to lady liberty.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

America Remembers September 11th

This hard cover tribute book is a Life publication. It was advertised as a commemorative or collector's edition. It was about $75 to purchase. A perfect example of the many objects that were strictly created as tributes to September 11th with no other purpose. Obviously, not a household object like other examples posted previously. This book is an example of a company "cashing in" on this event.

9/11 Portraits

A number of publications were created after September 11th, 2001. This book is a collection of the obituaries that were published in the NY Times about each victim of 9/11. The book was give to me by a friend whose brother died in the Twin Towers. His obituary is marked by her.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baseball Cards for Your Album

These Topps baseball card tributes were available in 2002. The cards feature images of the different ways that September 11th was commemorated at MLB games. It was no surprise that September 11th was highly visible at baseball games and with collectible products like baseball cards. Baseball symbolizes (and inspires) American life.

American Chopper's Fire Bike

Not a great picture, but everybody knows American Chopper and has seen their bike creations. This toy model is based on a motorcycle created as a tribute to the firefighters that lost their lives in September 11th. The bike features steel from the World Trade Center and the number 343 for the firefighters lost. You can watch the American Chopper episode here.