Like most police officers, Mike Haley is not one to dwell on the bad things he's seen. Past is past.
But the retired Clinton Township chief agreed to relive the weeks his department's emergency-response team spent at ground zero for a ceremony Monday marking the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
"An Evening of Reflection and Remembrance" is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Ohio Historical Center. Parking and admission is free that night.
Visitors will be able to watch recorded interviews of Haley and 16 other police officers, firefighters and volunteers who went to the disaster sites. Haley will be present to answer questions.
"I'm not much for reunions, but these people, the firefighters, the officers and civilians who died there, they shouldn't be forgotten," Haley said. "They weren't just a face or a number. They were real people."
That is the focus of two photography exhibits that open Saturday at the Ohio Historical Center. "The Armory Wall" and "Picturing What Matters" are on loan from the George Eastman House collection of Rochester, N.Y.
"The Armory Wall" documents the thousands of "missing" photos and posters tacked up after Sept. 11. Families had hoped, at first, that their missing loved ones were simply dazed and lost. Later, when only bodies were found in the rubble, the posters became a memorial.
Kathy Hoke, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Historical Society, said the society jumped at the chance last year to borrow the exhibits. The timing worked out perfectly with Sept. 11 remembrances, she said.
"Picturing What Matters" is a collection of national images, from migrant workers to raising Old Glory at Iwo Jima.
"Elizabeth Holmes, 84th floor," says one poster that shows a young woman in her prom dress. Others are photos of fathers holding babies and wedding pictures.
Bill Mahon, assistant director for exhibits, said he was quiet all day as the photographs were installed at the center.
"Each time I looked at the faces, I wondered: What did these people go through? What happened to them?"
The interviews with Ohio 9/11 volunteers will be played on Monday only, and then go into the society's archives.