9/11 Memorial at World Trade Center Site

by September 12, 2011 0 comments

Design Honors Hundreds of Meaningful ‘Adjacency Requests’ from  Victims’ Next-of-Kin. In the weeks and months following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, a Statue of Liberty replica stood honor guard outside a firehouse on Eighth Avenue and West 48th Street in Manhattan. The firehouse was Engine 54/Ladder 4/Battalion 9, which lost 15 of their men at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

It is uncertain how the fiberglass statue suddenly appeared outside the firehouse, but its arrival soon encouraged Lady Liberty’s ongoing, spontaneous ornamentation with messages and tributes left by the public. Neighborhood volunteers assumed responsibility for arranging these offerings, along with the fresh flowers, food and sympathy items that accumulated on the sidewalks edging the firehouse. 

Now covered from torch to toe with uniform patches, miniature American flags, money, mass cards, rosary beads, condolence notes, souvenir postcards, angel figurines and other mementos from mourners and passersby, this distinctive memorial was donated to the permanent collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in memory of the firefighters from Engine 54/Ladder 4/Battalion 9 killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. It is currently on display at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site in lower Manhattan. Explore Lady Liberty and learn more about the ornaments that adorn her and the stories of tribute behind them. http://ladyliberty.national911memorial.org/


September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 terrorist attacks—that will appear on the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site. The names arrangement can be explored through a unique web application launched today. Before the announcement, a personalized worldwide mailing was sent to more than 3,500 victims’ next-of-kin, informing them of the location of their loved ones’ names and the launch of the special website that displays the final arrangement.

The website, called the Memorial Guide at names.911memorial.org, provides wayfinding to individual names and groups, such as flights and companies, on the Memorial.

The site also reveals the layers of meaning that underlie the arrangement and displays brief biographical information about the victims, as provided by next-of-kin. The same application will be available on mobile smartphones, tablet computers and on electronic kiosks on the plaza of the Memorial when it opens in September.

The names arrangement is based on a system of ‚meaningful adjacencies that reflect where the victims were on 9/11 and relationships they shared with others who were lost that day.  The system allows relatives, friends, co-workers and people who had just met but shared their last moments together to be listed side by side on the Memorial.

In 2009, the 9/11 Memorial conducted an official names verification process, through which victims’ next-of-kin were asked to verify their loved ones’ names and invited to request that specific names appear next to their loved ones’ names on the Memorial.  It was especially meaningful to the Memorial staff and designers to be able to honor the more than 1,200 adjacency requests that we received. They died as friends and co-workers and will be remembered together as friends and co-workers. They died as brothers and will be remembered as brothers—or as sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. The arrangement of the names, forever etched in bronze, expresses the bonds that could not be broken by the murderous attacks of that day, – 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said. ‚The arrangement of the names reflects the relationships and the strong bonds that 2,982 innocent people shared in life and death.

Today’s announcement caps a long and complex process that succeeded in bringing the deeply personal histories of so many grieving families into a shared narrative that emphasizes both individual loss and collective grief, 9/11 Memorial Architect Michael Arad said. I am very grateful to the hundreds of families that helped place the names of their loved ones on the Memorial next to the names of others they knew and loved, and in doing so, helped us infuse the Memorial with meaning and depth. It is heartbreaking and beautiful to think of them together that way, and it will be so special to be able to reflect on them so closely, said Abigail Ross Goodman, whose family requested an adjacency between her father, Richard Barry Ross, who was a passenger of American Airlines Flight 11, and her best friend, Stacey Leigh Sanders, who was at work at Marsh & McLennan Companies on the 96th floor of the North Tower when Flight 11 crashed into it. Denise Kelly, whose brother and nephew died on 9/11, recognized the Memorial’s unique arrangement that allowed the names of her brother, Daniel Raymond Brandhorst, his son, David Reed Gamboa Brandhorst, and the elder Brandhorst’s partner, Ronald L. Gamboa, to be listed side by side. •

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