New York 9/11 memorials


I’ve been procrastinating on this post (see here for how I roll – hint: I’m NOT a non-procrastinator, clearly). The problem is partly* because, after one week, I thought it was a good idea to start thinking about what I learned in New York in themes and was trying to group my thoughts from NY together.

So rather than do that, I’ve pulled together some photos and video of a few of the different  memorials I visited and have linked them with details I learned throughout the week. For anyone reading, I’m also posting similar info on Instagram & Twitter.

9/11 Memorial

Meaningful adjacencies
Meaningful adjacencies. The names on the 9/11 Memorial were not arranged alphabetically but so that they had meaningful adjacencies. This means people who knew each other, were family members or friends, or who worked together are placed next to one another on the memorial. In this photo are the names of Farrell and Sean Lynch, brothers, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Every day, someone who died on 9/11 has a birthday. So every day staff from the 9/11 Museum place white roses in the names of those whose birthday it is. It was Sean’s birthday on 24 May.
This is the view of the ceiling of Oculus, the new World Trade Center transport hub. It only opened recently and is still under construction. When fully operation the station will serve 250,000 people daily. The design, by Santiago Calatrava, has been very divisive in Manhattan. Some people think it resembles bones or a rib cage. The skylight across the roof of the main terminal (pictured above) is perfectly positioned to follow the arc of the sun on September 11th each year and also to view One World Trade Center through (you can just make out the building in the photo).
One World Trade Center perfectly reflected in the facade of the 9/11 Museum. The museum is on the same site as the Memorial but apart from this glass structure, which houses security and the entry and exit, it is entirely underground.

The video below is of the north pool of the 9/11 Memorial. The waterfalls of the memorial pool were designed to drown out the sounds of the city outside the memorial grounds.

FDNY Memorial Wall

Ten House, so called because the Ladder Company and the Engine Company both share the same number, it is the only Fire House in New York that has the same number for both. This fire station is across the road from the World Trade Center site. The Firefighters Memorial is along the outside wall (on the right side of this photo) of the fire house.
FDNY Memorial Wall. This memorial, along the outside wall of the Ten House, is dedicated to the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11 along with volunteer firefighter Glenn Winuk. Glenn worked for law firm Holland & Knight in Lower Manhattan and on 9/11 told all his co-workers to go home and then went down to the World Trade Center to assist people who had been injured. Glenn was in the South Tower when it collapsed. Holland & Knight wanted to do something to honour Glenn and the other firefighters. However, during the recovery a lot of ice was needed at the site for injuries, sprains, cleaning out eyes of the workers etc. So Holland & Knight raised money for an ice fund. When the clean up of the site ended there was still money left over in the ice fund. The left over money was used to create this memorial. Before the memorial was placed on the wall, the wives of deceased firefighters wrote notes on the reverse side of the plaque.

The Giuliani Archives

Guiliuani archives
I was lucky enough to meet up with Valerie Marlowe who is doing her PhD on collective memory at the University of Delaware. Valerie was in New York when I was. She was reading through notes and letters sent to Mayor Rudy Giuliani after 9/11 as part of her research and invited me along to look through. These boxes are full of letters sent from around the world after 9/11. It is amazing how some of them made it really (see below).

9/11 Tribute Center

911 Tribute Center
This is the exterior of the 9/11 Tribute Center. The Center uses storytelling as a way for people to learn about the losses and impact of 9/11.
Tribute Center Julie

This is Julie, sharing her 9/11 story at the 9/11 Tribute Center.

11 Tears Memorial

11 tears
The 11 Tears Memorial in the lobby of American Express Tower, dedicated to the 11 American Express employees who died on 9/11. The names of each person is etched into the granite around the outside of the pool. Eleven droplets of water, drop from the ceiling into the pool, like tears.
11 tears detail
Family and friends of those who died were asked to contribute some words that described their loved one. These words are etched onto the bottom of the pool.

In the video below you can see the ripples in the pool caused by the water falling from the ceiling.

I also visited other memorials in New York from different types of events. Stay tuned for those soon!

*the other part is because this great wonderful Churchill adventure is completely without a Panic Monster. The Panic Monster won’t appear for another three months when the deadline for my report rolls around. Clearly I have heaps of time, queue Instant Gratification Monkey…wine anyone?

Churchill-ing. This is what procrastinating looks like – taking photos rather than writing.


  1. meaningful adjacencies, fascinating concept. They would need social network analysis to work out the relationships. Or a very good chess player. It’s interesting how the FDNY wall is very traditional, nothing fancy or nuanced about it


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