On Friday, May 31, 2019, a new section of the 9/11 Memorial called the 9/11 Memorial Glade opened to the public in the Financial District. Designed by the original architects of the eight-acre memorial site, Michael Arad and Peter Walker, the dedicated space is located on the corner of West Street and Liberty Street, next to the Survivor Tree by the South Tower reflecting pool. Six large, upward-sloping monolithic stones are arranged on the edges of a newly-created, diagonally-oriented walkway. The Memorial Glade is to honor the men and women who have contributed to the recovery, rescue, and relief efforts during and after the 9/11 attacks and are sick, injured, or have passed away.
Visitors that enter from the southwestern corner of the 9/11 Memorial are greeted by a tall, reflective metal plaque inscribed with the description and dedication of the Memorial Glade. The six slabs are then visible on each side of the walkway.
Each slab contains thin pieces of salvaged steel from the original World Trade Center, a detail that can only be seen close-up as the metal runs flush with the stone, and is different for each monolith. It is a subtle nod to the Japanese concept of kintsugi, in which traditional artisans reassemble broken pottery and ceramics with the use of adhesives and gently painted gold over the edges of each fragment. The idea is to not only fix something that was damaged, but attempt to create a sense of beauty despite its imperfections.
Flowers, photos, and even poems were spotted on the edges of the monument, with people quietly looking at each slab. 9/11 Memorial volunteers walk around the new section answering questions from tourists and locals.