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Hospital wall pays tribute to Sept. 11 victims

Among many others, one of Exie Starr’s duties at Roosevelt General Hospital is to update a hallway bulletin board each month.

As September came around, Starr searched through her heart and mind, and the choice was easy even after three years.

A wall to remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks is now on display in a hallway next to the nurses’ station of RGH.

“To every person, it’s going to mean something else,” Starr said. “They’ll remember what they were doing, where they were when they got the phone call or turned on the TV.”

Starr’s monthly displays are usually based on holidays and usually do not exceed the bulletin board, which measures about 48 inches wide and 36 inches tall. For this display, however, the names of every victim are printed and lined to surround a collage of photos and quotes from the event.

“To see every name, it has a stronger impact,” Starr said.

The board has special markings to acknowledge Alfred Marchand of Alamogordo and former Greyhound basketball player Ron Milam.

Starr wasn’t alone in her work. She also received help from other nurses at the station. The bulletin board was assembled over the course of the Thursday work day.

The nurses were pleased with their results and simultaneously experienced mixed emotions with the display.

“I don’t even know if there are words for it,” said Tersa Bonifant, who helped with the display. “When you start looking at the pictures, you see the tragedy, but you also see how everybody comes together.”

The bulletin board itself came together, but wasn’t complete until Friday morning. After looking at the collage, Starr noticed that she had written a phrase (”Covered with the names of those who died”) that coincidentally rhymed with a poster right below it (”The Day The Angels Cried”). Starr wrote a poem named after the poster Thursday night and it became the final piece of the display.

“I was just so pleasantly pleased,” said James D’Agostino, RGH administrator. “It’s like they say, ‘Let us never forget.’”