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Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Memorials

Today's remembrance of the September 11, 2001 attacks is centered on the World Trade Center site and the newly dedicated Memorial, two pools which occupy the footprints of the Twin Towers. As I type this, the reading of the victims' names is wrapping up at this location. Yet this memorial is just one (and easily the most expensive) of many memorials dedicated to those events ten years ago. Below is a sampling of the more significant permanent memorials, from most recent to earliest in terms of their dedication dates.

As can be seen from these photos, abstraction is a common trait of these (and most contemporary) memorials. Yet most shy away from a literal relationship to the Twin Towers (see this flickr group for many smaller memorials that do such), opting to express loss as void, create direct visual relationships between the memorial and the site of disaster, and evoke emotions through the names of the lost ones rather than figural forms. Please comment if I missed one that deserves inclusion here, and I'll add it.

National September 11 Memorial and Museum:
[One of the Memorial footprints in the foreground, with the entrance to the future Museum in the background | image source]
New York, NY
Michael Arad and Peter Walker
Dedicated September 11, 2011

Flight 93 National Memorial:
[Ceremonial gateway to the crash site; photo by Paul Murdoch Architects | image source]
Shanksville, PA
Paul Murdoch Architects with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects
Dedicated September 10, 2011

Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial:
[View towards Manhattan; AP file photo | image source]
Jersey City, NJ
Frederic Schwartz Architects
Dedicated September 10, 2011

Pentagon Memorial:
[image source]
Washington, DC
Kaseman Beckman Advanced Strategies with Lee and Associates
Dedicated September 11, 2008

To the Struggle Against World Terrorism:
[image source]
Bayonne, NJ
Zurab Tsereteli
Dedicated September 11, 2006

The Rising 9/11 Memorial:
[image source]
Valhalla, Westchester County, NY
Frederic Schwartz Architects
Dedicated September 11, 2006

Staten Island September 11 Memorial:
[The view toward Lower Manhattan | image source]
Staten Island, NY
Masayuki Sono
Dedicated September 11, 2004


  1. Shalom John and America on this special day.
    If you'd like to include memorials outside the USA, please see ours, here in the forest just outside Jerusalem.
    It has the names of all the Sept. 11 victims.
    It was designed by Israeli artist Eliezer Weishoff.

    The 2009 dedication ceremony video:

    From the Jewish National Fund, which made the site of the memorial:


    We watched live coverage today on Israel TV of the commemorations in New York and at the Pentagon. They were very moving, as are the sites.
    Blessings to you all.

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  4. Dina - Thanks for the links and letting me know about that memorial. It certainly is more sculptural and literal in terms of what it stands for than the examples above. A different approach for a different place, I guess, to put it simply.

  5. I really pray for all people that have lost their friends and their hopes when that terrible disaster happened!And hope we will live in peace.

  6. Love the memorials in valhalla and ground zero... superb - both very beautiful and graceful.

    Not sure I get Staten Island's dove wing piece though, and the Tel Aviv sculpture is rather odd... as is its video commentary!

  7. Your American ones are beautiful to look upon.

  8. WoW! great pics indeed. .the ground zero was amazing.=buy rift platinumD

  9. From the image of the Memorial at Liberty State Park in Jersey, one might think it is appropriate. However, in person it is a visual intrusion in the park and looks to be made of cheap temporary materials. There exists along the waterfront of Hudson county other memorials to 9/11 that this one is in excess.

    The Tear Drop located in Bayonne, was located there after several other cities along the NJ waterfront facing NYC declined to accept.


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