We had the opportunity to talk directly to the Workshops' founder, Gary Suson. At the time, we were in New York City for a 5 day trip and we had seen already a lot of the major sites. We had planned a special day for 9/11. We didn’t know was that his Workshop was closed Sunday-Tuesday, and we expected we would have to miss it. Instead, he returned our call and invited us to come over and set up a personalized tour with one other family. We jumped at the chance.
I did voice my concerns about the content for our kids, who are 4, 6 and 10 yrs old. Gary reassured us that no jarring audio or graphic images would be presented that might upset them. His content primarily chronicled the experiences, artifacts and memories of the rescue teams who searched for months (through all kind of conditions) for survivors or their remains. It was so unique as Gary told his story of being there, taking photographs and working alongside so many brave people.
The kids were very attentive in good part because there are so many ways to learn – an audiovisual introduction, an interpersonal conversation and a kinesthetic opportunity. That’s right – Mr. Suson allows you to touch or hold several artifacts, including rare window glass or metal from the building’s support beams. Frankly, you won’t have that opportunity at the 9/11 exhibit! He graciously answered questions and gave us plenty of time to have a meaningful and personal experience amongst his collection. And he’s a darn good photographer, too.