After years of debate and controversy over how to commemorate the victims of 9/11, the National September 11 Memorial is opening at the site of the Twin Towers in New York on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Over 5,000 proposals from 63 nations were considered and the design finally accepted was “Reflecting Absence” by New York architect Michael Arad and Californian landscape architect Peter Walker. Michael Arad is on the program today.
The memorial covers eight acres and includes two pools with 30-foot waterfalls that flow into the footprints of the towers, surrounded by a plaza of almost 400 oak trees. The names of the 2,982 victims, ranging in age from two to 85, are listed on parapets surrounding the pools.
The 13 members of the jury who selected Arad’s design commented, “Reflecting Absence’ has made the voids left by the destruction the primary symbols of our loss. It is a memorial that expresses both the incalculable loss of life and its consoling renewal, a place where all of us come together to remember from generation to generation.”
The emotional story of the memorial’s creation is told in a new book released by National Geographic, A Place of Remembrance.