NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The handpainted tiles that adorned a fence outside the former St. Vincent’s Hospital for a decade after Sept. 11, 2001, in Greenwich Village are part of a new exhibit.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, it was a spontaneous, but lasting tribute to the heroes of 9/11, such as Lee Ielpi’s firefighter son, Jonathan.

“As a resident of the West Village I pass that fence on Greenwich and 7th every day,” Ielpi said. “I saw people from all over the world stopping there. I saw our tour buses stop there and take pictures of our fence. To keep the memory alive we have had to do something with these tiles.”

Several of the tiles were on display this weekend at the Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Ave. They are still affixed to the original chain link fence.

“We have an obligation to our children, to our grandchildren, to never forget,” Ielpi said.

Ielpi’s hope is that the tiles will eventually become part of a permanent 9/11 memorial.

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