seek stability, embrace change

Hands of Honor
Garden of Memories
Eternal Flame

Garden of Memories

We are a nation of individuals. Perhaps unique among the countries of the world, we cherish our differences and derive strength from our united diversity. The suddenness of the attack, its broad and indiscriminate consequences, the frantic search for the missing, the months of uncertainty, and the worldwide interest and concern each story evoked- all argue to place an unusually strong emphasis memorializing the person [1], and not merely their name.

The Garden of Memories honors each individual as their family and friends remembered them in life. A field of individual Memorial Cases are "planted" on the North Tower Footprint [5]. The Memorial Cases are inscribed with their name, date of birth and date of death. Within each case is a removable MEMORIAL TRAY. This tray can be filled by the family with photos, badges, and other mementos that capture, tangibly, a few facets of a unique life. If the family desires, a dedication ceremony can be arranged [3], to place the tray within the Memorial Case. Rolling screens may be placed for privacy, or visitors are likely to simply detour around the family during ceremonies- the cases affording a "virtual wall". A team of family members and professionals are available to assist them in the design and arrangement of their Memorial Trays.

The Memorial Cases are arrayed in sequence by date of birth, from youngest (at the southwest corner of the North Footprint nearest the Descent) to the oldest. Such an arrangement reminds us of the transitory and arbitrary nature of life. The juxtapositions between rows reflects how our lives are all interconnected, in life and in death. Since the names are not visible as one mass on a wall, the inscriptions can be appropriate and personal (e.g Lt. John Edwin, 3rd Battalion or Susan "Sparky" Tarlin).

Design Details:

The Garden of Memories perimeter is demarcated by inset squares of black marble every 1 meter, on the same period and size of the structural columns of the WTC [5]. A cantilevered roof, attached to the Cultural Museum, extends over the entire footprint, shielding the space from sun and weather. The interior roof is faceted and reflective, symbolically multiplying our losses. There is a void in the roof above the Eternal Flame, opening the flame to the sky.
The clear glass Memorial Cases sit between 3 and 4 feet high, and are about 1x1.5 feet across at the top. Arrayed on the North Tower Footprint [5] in pairs, on a period of 3 by 6 feet, this arrangement provides space for over 3100 cases plus paths and room for the Eternal Flame. The cases are sealed from the weather, but can be opened to insert Memorial Trays.

World Trade Center Memorial Submission by Greg Blonder, Copyright August 2003