Photo credit: 9/11 Memorial staff
Accession Number: C.2012.90.3
Dimensions: 4 in X 3.125 in
Dimensions (Metric): 10.16 cm X 7.9375 cm
Credit Line: Anonymous Gift
New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner WTC 2001 patch. The patch is dark blue with gold-colored embroidered trim and text: "Office of Chief | Medical Examiner | NYC | WTC 2001 | AA FLT 587." In the center of the patch the city skyline is embroidered in gold-colored thread.
The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner was tasked with identifying remains of those who perished at the World Trade Center, a process that expanded into the largest forensic DNA investigation in U.S. history. On 9/11, the OCME immediately established temporary field mortuaries in buildings around the perimeter of the World Trade Center site to assist with the recovery of remains. Its operations expanded to Bellevue Hospital, which served as headquarters for the identification of remains. The OCME continues to preserve all unidentified remains in the hope that future technological breakthroughs may make additional identifications possible.
On November 12, 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, en route to the Dominican Republic, crashed in Belle Harbor, a residential neighborhood in Queens, soon after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport. The crash triggered fear that another terrorist attack had occurred. All 260 aboard the plane and five people on the ground are killed. Investigators later conclude that human error, not terrorism, caused the crash. The OCME responded to the disaster to serve in a similar capacity of identifying remains.