During the decade-long period of healing, people in towns across America have been erecting memorials to the nearly 3,000 victims of the 9/11 terror attacks. There are some 700 recorded memorials in the U.S. and more are underway or planned. Most of them are in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, home to the majority of the victims. Others are hundreds of miles away, such as one in North Dakota.
The memorials vary widely in size, design, and cost. Some are public, others private. Some mark the event, others the people who perished. The memorials convey a variety of emotions and ideas, from loss to hope, in both concrete and symbolic ways. Some mark the life and character of an individual, others the values and ideals of the nation.
Remnants of the World Trade Center towers—typically steel girders—have been incorporated into many of the memorials. Some 1,100 pieces have been made available for that purpose.
Click ahead for a collection of memorials that capture the character of the hundreds throughout the nation, and the message they convey from the people behind the effort. To be sure, these 15 memorials are just the tip of a historical iceberg, so please send in a photo of the memorial you think best commemorates the event and tell us why. (Here's how.)By Ella Zhang
Posted 29 August 2011
Memorial Name: LAX “Recovering Equilibrium”
“Recovering Equilibrium” was funded by Los Angeles World Airports, which oversees airports in the city, at a cost $75,000. LAX was the destination for three of the four planes involved in the tragedy.
The 15–foot-diameter, rotating mirror floats above a concrete basin filled with water, where virtues such as forgiveness are inscribed in different languages, representing collective American citizenry. On the lower ring, there are American concepts, such as "Sea to Shining Sea" and "American Dream." The plate is made reflective because designers BJ Krivanek and Joel Breaux want visitors to be able to identify with the victims and their characters.
“It is to capture the shift in the national dialogue that came about after the attacks,” said Sarah Cisarelli, the airport art manager. “Before the attacks, people may have taken for granted certain qualities of American life, such as equality, opportunity and justice; after 9/11, people began to attach greater importance to the meanings of those and other words inscribed on the artwork."
Memorial Name: Boston College 9/11 Memorial Labyrinth
The Memorial Labyrinth on the lawn of Burns Library is the brainchild of Father William P. Leahy, S.J., president of Boston College. Fully financed by the university, the 300-yard long, 28-loop labyrinth is an exact replica of the one in the France's Chartres Cathedral, where for centuries pilgrims walk the pathway to pray, meditate and reflect.
The labyrinth, symbolic of the journey to the holy land, is dedicated to the 22 Boston College alumni killed in 9/11, with their names etched on the stone. One of the victims is Welles Crowther, also known as the “Man in the Red Bandanna,” who guided his co-workers to safety and lost his own life.
“[There is] a spiritual element in addition to the memorial, it reflects our Jesuit University, and with the permanence of the granite stone it’s designed to last,” said Reid Oslin, spokesperson from Boston College.
Memorial: 9/11 Memorial Stained Glass Window at Corr Chapel, Villanova University
The bright-colored memorial window at Corr Chapel is to commemorate the 15 Villanova alumni perished in 9/11. Installed in 2006, the glass took 10 months to complete and cost about $25,000 to make, excluding shipping and installing.
The window depicts the sites that marked the 9/11 attacks, the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon, and the field near Shanksville, Penn., as well as four planes hovering over the sky. The window next to it shows the Blessed Virgin Mary in prayer position.
All 15 victims’ names are inscribed in the panel. Further details such as the date of the attacks and flight numbers are also illustrated in the window panel.
“It is important that the names are in the windows, because once the names disappear out of history, people forget about them,” said Fr. Richard Cannuli, O.S.A., the designer and Chair of the Theatre Department at Villanova University, “and stain glass lasts as long as you take care of them.”
Since the window was specially made by a glass studio in Siena, Italy, its arrival was delayed and the original dedication plan postponed, due to extensive U.S. Customs inspection.
Memorial Name: Christine’s Tree at the Old Academy Nursery School
The Seven Sons Flower Tree was planted by the Old Academy Nursery School kids to honor Christine Hanson, the youngest victim of 9/11. Christine was en route to a California vacation with her parents Sue and Peter, when the tragedy happened. She was then only two and a half years old.
The tree, a precious species, is outside the Nursery Academy where Christine and her grandfather used to play. The tree was chosen because it blossoms in September, symbolizing the long life Christine would never have.
“Even though her life ended, the tree will continue to grow, and life goes on,” said Sheila Ozalis, chairperson of the Old Nursery School.
Memorial: The Garden of Reflection
The Garden and the 64-acre Memorial Park in Lower Makefield, Penn., were built in 2005. Nine people from the town died in the tragedy. Starting as a grassroots effort by family members and volunteers, the “Remembrance Fund” raised more than $1.8 million for design, construction, and maintenance.
The site includes a fragment of the World Trade Center, a Wall of Remembrance with all the victims names etched on glass panels, and twin fountains that represent the rising spirits of those lost in the event.
“As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01, there are many mixed feelings for the families of victims, for heroes who pulled people from ruins, and for the nation who watched it unfold,” said Executive Director Ellen Saracini. “Sadness and grief are tempered by hope and pride, terrorism took from us many loved ones, but did not kill our spirit nor steal our freedom.”
Memorial: 9/11 Memorial Garden And Trail
After a trip to post-9/11 New York City, Bob Hart, a retired teacher from University of Georgia, came up with the idea to build a memorial on his 18-acre wooded property. The trail is open to public and features 99 poles with all the victims’ names. The names are deliberately arranged in random order, emphasizing the individuality of each person. However, an index box at the beginning of the trail allows visitors to locate any name. The Harts spent $5,000 to $7,000 on the memorial.
About 250 and 400 people attended the memorial service in 2002 and 2006. And Bob is planning another one for the 10th anniversary.
“I cried quite a bit while building the Trail, especially every time I erected one of the 99 markers, but I probably cried the most the first time I saw the bouquet of flowers the Koch's left.” George and Ruth Koch lost their daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters on 9/11.
Memorial: Osprey Memorial “Morning Call”
By the quiet harbor of Greenport, N.Y., an osprey perches atop a 20-foot tall beam made up of three World Trade Center steel remains. With its wings stretching and its beak open, the osprey is landing to build a nest and crying out for dignity. The sculpture, titled “Morning Call,” is symbolic of rebirth and renewal, while its see-through design is meant to create something quiet but strong.
“My idea is to create in the spirit of rebirth and renewal after the tragedy,” said Roberto Bessin the sculptor, “the site is where the first sunrise hit the State of New York, on the north fork of East Long Island.”
The statue cost $80,000 in total and was financed by the Osprey Memorial Fund.
Memorial Name: Brooklyn Remembers Memorial “The Beacon”
The 25-foot-tall bronze statue titled "The Beacon" is in the shape of an 18th century speaking trumpet used by firefighters to alert the public of fire. The memorial took three years to complete and is located at Veteran’s Pier at 69th Street in Bay Ridge.
Through public fundraising, Brooklyn Remembers managed to raise $150,000 to build the memorial and another $40,000 to maintain it.
With the mouth of the trumpet facing down, the statue also functions as a beacon. Its top shines every night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time.
“It’s a beacon reaching out to the heaven, to the people we lost, and for them reaching us,” said Williams Guarinello, former chairman of Brooklyn Remembers.
Memorial: Pentagon Memorial
The Pentagon Memorial, located right where the plane crashed, is dedicated to the 184 people at the location who lost their lives on 9/11. Completed in 2008, the construction is estimated to have cost $22 million, with another $10 million in line for future maintenance.
Among the Pentagon casualties, were the 64 people on the plane that crashed. Each victim, except for the 5 terrorists, is marked by a steel bench with water running beneath it.
Glistening at night, the memorial is also visible to travelers on the road and passing flights.
The benches are organized according to the victims’ ages, from the youngest (three) to the oldest (71). This arrangement is a timeless means of recording that moment in their lives and is intended to give a sense of scale and evoke imagination about the lives they led.
"It helps visitors understand the sheer number of people taken from us, the varied lives they led, and begins to tell the story of what happened that day," said designer Julie Beckman.
Memorial Name: To Lift a Nation
The memorial named “To Lift a Nation” features three 40-feet high firefighter statues, each weighs more than 5,000 pounds, raising the American flag. It is a recreation of the famous photo by Thomas E. Franklin taken at Ground Zero on 9/11 and is dedicated to all the firefighters that died in the tragedy. The memorial was established in 2007 and is donated by the sculptor Stan Watts at a cost of millions.
“The purpose of the monument is to let their families know that the selfless sacrifice of their loved ones won’t be forgotten,” said sculptor Stan Watts. “It is in return to the heroes that answered the call and ran up the stairs.”
Memorial Name: To Struggle Against World Terrorism
Located at the eastern tip of Bayonne, N.J., harbor peninsula, the gigantic statue weighs 175 tons and consists of a 40-foot stainless-steel teardrop positioned in the crack of a 100-foot bronze block. The slit with rough edges and the hanging teardrop represents the twin towers that once together had been ruptured in between.
The memorial, named “To Struggle Against World Terrorism,” was dedicated in 2006 as a gift from the sculptor Zurab Tsereteli and people of Russia to America. Fifteen Bayonne residents died in the attacks.
Taking three years to complete, Tsereteli financed the project himself. The cost was not disclosed.
“It’s a tear of grief and as the tragedy goes by, when we overcome terrorism, it becomes a tear of joy,” said Vasili Tsereteli, grandson of the sculptor, who works closely with his grandfather.
Memorial: Amy Toyen Sculpture
Dedicated in 2002, the piece commemorates the 9/11 victim Amy Toyen, who grew up in Avon, Conn. The project was initiated by Avon High School. Situated outside the Avon Free Public Library, the life-size bronze sculpture depicts Amy as a 5-year-old young girl, in her favorite dress, sitting on a garden bench, with a book in her hands and a Teddy Bear in her arm (two other of her favorite things).
“Amy’s parents want the sculpture to show gentleness, kindness, and innocence, as representative of their daughter,” said Marilyn Thrall, sculptor of the memorial.
“When you stop by it, sit on the bench, you can’t resist putting your hands on her head or her shoulder, it is very compelling, a sweet representation of a little girl reading a book,” said Virginia Vocelli, director of Avon Free Public Library.
Memorial: 9/11 Memorial “Postcards”
Built in 2004, “Postcards” features two soaring 40-foot high, white wing-like walls that symbolize notes sent to loved ones. The memorial is dedicated to all the Staten Island, N.Y., residents who died on 9/11, each of them honored with a granite plaque with their facial silhouette, name, birth date, and place of work. Ground Zero can be seen between the “Postcards” wings.
The memorial took a year to complete at a cost of more than $2 million.
“Of all the casualties, 269 came from Staten Island, out of that, about 50 percent of the them did not receive remains of their loved ones, [so] actually this is their cemetery,” said Borough President James Molinaro.
Memorial Name: Eternal Flame
The Eternal Flame burns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in memory of Melissa Harrington-Hughes, a native of West Springfield, Mass., as well as 92 other Massachusetts residents who died on 9/11. Dedicated in 2003, it represents life and provides the victims' families and the community a peaceful place to contemplate. Powered by natural gas, the Eternal Flame cost $75,000 to build and $300 a month to maintain.
“The flame burns brightly every day, just as she did for the 31 years that she graced this earth,” Bob Harrington said of his daughter, Melissa. “A truly beautiful and intelligent young lady, her life is like the flame it will always burn brightly.”
The torch sits on top of a pedestal, with plaques on each side. On one side is a poem, reading:
“To laugh often and much/ To win the respect of intelligent / people and the affection of children / To earn the appreciation of honest critics / and endure the betrayal of false friends / To appreciate beauty / To find the best in others / To leave the world a bit better / whether by a healthy child / a garden patch or a redeemed social condition / To know that even one life has breathed easier / because you have lived / This is to have succeeded.”
Memorial: The International Peace Garden 9/11 Memorial
Located within the 2,400-acre International Peace Garden on the border of the U.S. and Canada, the memorial consists of 10 World Trade Center girders surrounded by a Stroll and Contemplative Garden, built in 2002 and 2010, respectively. The overall memorial covers 20,000 square feet.
“The girders are arranged in a random fashion depicting the chaos of the event that was 9/11 in New York City,” said Doug Hevenor, CEO of the International Peace Garden. “At our site, people can penetrate the display from the garden paths to touch the steel if they desire or they can simply journey along the stroll path to read one of the 10 story boards that provide information about that September 11th day in 2001.”
The International Peace Garden is open to both Canadians and Americans tourists. The cost is not known.
Name: Your Town, USA
With so many wonderful 9/11 memorials around the country, here's a chance to share yours with the rest of us.
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