Since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of responders who helped to clear debris and remains have died due to respiratory problems, rare cancers and mental-health disorders. Their lives are now being honored at New York’s 9/11 Memorial in lower Manhattan at the new Memorial Glade that opened last week. This expansion of the monument was designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, original architects of the memorial pools. It is located just west of the Survivor Tree by the south pool, approximately where the primary ramp used during the rescue and recovery effort once was.
The Memorial Glade is a historic and permanent addition to the 9/11 Memorial.
The Glade consists of a pathway lined by six monoliths inlaid with steel from the original World Trade Center. The jagged, sinking shape of the blocks are meant to symbolize the sometimes hidden struggles of those whose lives were affected by the attacks. Nearly 10,000 registered responders have developed cancer since the attacks, according to the World Trade Center Health Program. Thousands more suffer from mental-health conditions and other health problems. As of March 2019, over 2,000 of these responders have died. This does not account for responders and survivors who are not registered with the health program, whose quantity and conditions are unknown. Still, new health ramifications are continually coming into light.
The monoliths were installed on April 6 after traveling on a flatbed to New York from Vermont.
The blocks weigh 13 to 18 tons each and are accompanied by an inscription on either side of the Glade. The inscription describes the purpose of the tribute. “This Memorial Glade is dedicated/ To those whose actions in our time of need/ Led to their injury, sickness, and death… Who came to help and to heal…Renewed the spirit of a grieving city/ Gave hope to the nation/And inspired the world,” the inscription says.
The dedication inscription highlights the ongoing sacrifice of 9/11 responders and the health ramifications they still experience today.
The dedication ceremony was attended by several officials including Governor Andrew Cuomo, former mayor Michael Bloomberg and 9/11 Memorial & Museum President Alice M. Greenwald. Additionally, several rescue worker widows and health advocates were in attendance. Construction for the Glade started Saturday, April 6 when the monoliths were installed. The monoliths were crafted in Barre, Vt. and driven six hours on flatbed trucks to New York. As the trucks made their way to New York City, first responders in local communities saluted the vehicles from highway overpasses along the way.
The Memorial Glade was designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, the original architectural designers of the memorial.
The Memorial Glade is a permanent and historic addition to the memorial. The project was funded largely by private donors, totaling at five million dollars.