MS – 205: The Larry Recla Ground Zero Collection
(5 boxes, 2 oversize items, 1 case, 3 cubic feet)
Processed by Devin McKinney
Bulk dates: 2001-2008
Inclusive dates: 1991-2016
Location: Collections Room / Processing Room
Gift of Rev. Lawrence R. Recla, June 4 and August 5, 2016.
The papers consist of 5 boxes containing artifacts, documents, clothing, and digital discs; 2 oversize paper items; and 1 display case containing a US flag.
Rev. Larry Recla, a 1972 graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, had been pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in the Astoria section of Queens, New York, for two years when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001. Experienced at working with survivors and rescue personnel on disaster sites, Recla volunteered his services to the Red Cross, and began working at the Ground Zero Temporary Morgue (“T-morgue”) in November 2001. He remained at the site through its closing eight months later, rendering physical and spiritual aid to recovery personnel, sometimes blessing human remains in the morgue or riding with bodies as they were transported off-site.
Wishing to teach students about the heroic service of the rescue and recovery workers, Rev. Recla donated his Ground Zero-related artifacts, documents, and citations to Musselman Library. The collection, exhibited in the library throughout the fall of 2016 to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the attacks, evokes their devastating aftermath, and captures echoes of their ongoing emotional toll.
Scope and content note
This collection contains items used or collected by Recla at Ground Zero; mementos of his address to the cadet wing of the US Air Force Academy on the seventh anniversary of 9/11; official proclamations acknowledging his role in the recovery effort; and miscellaneous digital artifacts.