911 Memorial Design Submission
In keeping with America’s plans to fill the World Trade Center space with a Memorial commemorating those who died on September 11th, 2001, the New York Arts Magazine called for a submission of 911 Memorial designs. On the following page you will find the essence of my concept which received the only full page spread in the October 2002 International Issue of New York Arts Magazine (Vol .7 No. 10).
My design revolves around the 3 main attack areas of that day:
Shanksville, Pennsylvania - for me, represents the core of the attack on America - its land. (see image 1)
the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, displays the protective outer rim of that land. The attack on it is symbolic. It represents an assault on America’s defence systems (see images 2 and 3)
New York's twin towers. As this was the major impact area of the attacks, I use it as the outer shell of my Memorial design. The World Trade Center attack saw itself as infliciting a “moral” impact on the nation - through an assault on the commercial subsistence systems of the United States . Though the initial shock value was great, the intensity of it only strengthened the nation’s resolve. I therefore focus my attentions on highlighting the ultimate symbol of American determination - its flag. I have it rising ever higher over the symbolic debris which ironically forms a base upon which the nations strengths are rekindled, rebuilt and re-strengthened. (see all other images)
Visitors are invited into the womb of the Memorial, surrounded by scenes of the September 11th event. A darkened and sloped walkway, tunnelled by twisted and hanging beams, leads visitors ever deeper into the cataclysm that was September 11th, 2001. The goal? To revisit the intensity of that day.
From this deep experience visitors are led eventually to a silent center filled with light - the core area of the Memorial - the open grassed-in space of American soil, surrounded by 5 still strong granite defense walls of a Pentagon shaped enclosure. Within tthis space the engraved names of those who died on that fateful day are displayed on the outer walls. The inner walls are open to the center field.
And from that open grassed area a massive flag pole rises 1500 feet up the center of this experienced pain and into the light of the sky at the center of the Memorial. It is at this point of meditation and reflection that visitors are reminded of what they have - They have a surviving freedom. And through this grandiose expression of hope and dreams, visitors are made aware of a never to be forgotten element of that freedom : When tested, a nation’s strength and integrity can only depend on individual and collective pride - a pride which can and will withstand forever any and all attacks on it.
Upon exiting the memorial, visitors encounter an open air park, with seating areas for reflection. Fountains in strategic placement whisper a calm return to everyday life whilst reminding visitors of their experience and of the fateful day when freedom and resolve were sorely tested.