Title: 1871.pjpeg

Original name: attach.jpeg


September 11 2001 I was attending a watercolor class in Santa Barbara Adult Education. One week later I told my teacher all my paintings were turning out indigo blue and she advised me to go home and paint the picture that was in my mind. One week later (September 25, 200l) my watercolor painting Lest We Forget was finished representing all the emotions I had experienced in the aftermath of the September 11,2001 disaster. The original painting is 22 x 30full sheet watercolor. Another teacher suggested that I should show the picture and make transparencies so I could reproduce it, which I did. I then made 8x10 prints, which I gave for a $5.00 donation. October is Art month in Santa Barbara, California and I knew I would have four weekend Art Shows where I could show the painting and display the prints. In December I donated $1000.00 from these sales to the Red Cross. This should be the end of my story as I accomplished what I wanted but because of the reaction of the people to the picture it seems to be taking on a life of its own.. Many of the people who have seen the picture turned their head away with pain on their faces. You could tell they couldnt or didnt want to see the picture, while others would stand transfixed staring at it and saying things like it beautiful or wonderful…many said it should be in a museum. As I watched the television coverage of the horror that day has caused everyone, but mostly those people who lost someone in the World Trade Building I have become obsessed with the conviction that this picture should be seen by the people in New York who were directly involved. In the West, along with our grief, there can be a tendency to Try to Forget so that our every waking hour is not taken up with the memory. However, the people in New York are in the middle of and still dealing with it every day and I feel they might benefit from seeing the picture because the element of hope is reflected in the church tower and light shining on the American Flag. I am a 60-year-old grandmother of five who was widowed at 25 years old with three children under the age of six in l967. Maybe that is another reason I feel so much understanding of the grieving process that these families are experiencing. The painting is being sent as an attachment I want to explain the image. The destroyed buildings in the WTC with blood and smoke, the hijacker or assassin represented in the corner (I did not know who it was when I painted it) two airplanes, hearts and candles floating up in the smoke (A lady who saw the picture brought to my attention the Angel in the smoke) it had just appeared. The World Trade Towers, the Statue of Libertys hand and torch with blood, a Firemans back and helmet at the side of the flag and finally in the right hand corner, a church tower with a cross with beams of light coming down from heaven onto the American Flag representing the hope that we will survive this awful time. The above letter was sent to Mayor Giuliani. Governor Pitake, and President and Laura Bush with a print of the painting. I received a letter from all of them. In December the group of Fireman from Engine 33 Ladder 9 who rode bicycles across the USA to thank people for all their support after 911) finished in Pasadena, Calif. My husband and I took my picture down and met them and I am in contact with Dan Rowan, and he feels he can get the original in the New York Fireman Museum. In January the Missing Exhibit fliers from the WTC came to Santa Barbara and Luis Nevear, Mesoamerican Foundation wanted to take a large print of my picture with them as the exhibit traveled around the United States. Currently it is still with the exhibit and will be turned over to the Smithsonian at the close of the exhibit. I am still not certain they will want my picture included with the exhibit. Now to the present, we have passed the first anniversary of 911, I still watch all the television programs about the babies born, grief counseling, all the tragic things the survivors are doing to try to cope with their loss. My heart breaks and I still wish I could speak to Lisa Beamer and all the widows and widowers, I still wonder what they would feel if they saw my painting. Of all the artwork I have seen representing the 911 tragedies I still have never seen a picture showing all the things that occurred in one picture (excluding the Pentagon and Flight 93). I still hope one day it will be in a museum where people and see it in context with other artifacts of 911. I tried to get the picture to New York for the Anniversary but couldnt connect with the right people so I am now determined that it nothing happens before then I will definitely be there in 2003. Thank-you for letting me share my story with you. I am glad it will be archived for history. Sincerely, Brenda Geneau

Date Entered: 2003-01-21


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