Photo credit: 9/11 Memorial staff
Accession Number: C.2022.44.1
Credit Line: Gift of Kathy Ripley
Bunker coat belonging to Rev. William Barton. The coat is dark yellow with a black collar and quilted interior. The shoulder and elbow patches were white but are now heavily soiled. Bright yellow reflective striping wraps around the waist and mid-sleeve of the coat as well as the chest area. On the back of the coat, “D.MORT” and “9-11” are handwritten in black and "CHAPLAIN | BARTON" are adhered to the back of the coat with yellow photoluminicent lettering. The letters "AFE" are also visible on the back where the letters were initially stitched to the coat and subsequently removed.
Bill Barton was 70 years old at the time of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Having served in the U.S. military as a firefighter, police chaplain, and disaster chaplain with the American Red Cross, Barton responded to the Pentagon soon after it was struck. It is unclear precisely how long Barton served at the Pentagon.
Later in October, Barton was dispatched by the American Red Cross to serve at Ground Zero. Barton was assigned to bless human remains being brought to one of the four DMORT stations in the city and also offered prayers when the bodies of victims were carried out of the wreckage.
Barton died in 2019, at age 88. His daughter, Kathy Ripley, believes that his declining health was exacerbated by exposure to Ground Zero dust.