9/11 Memorial Glade Opens to The Public at The World Trade Center

The 9/11 Memorial Glade looking northeast towards the South Tower reflecting pool. Photo by Michael Young

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.

The dedication ceremony on Friday, May 31, 2019. Photo by Michael Young

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.

The plaque for the Memorial Glade is first seen before walking onto the new space. Photo by Michael Young

A canopy of Swamp White Oak Trees surround the Memorial Glade. Photo by Michael Young

Looking up the Memorial Glade and the line of stones. Photo by Michael Young

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.

A close-up of the metal seen on the top and sides of each monolithic stone slab. Photo by Michael Young

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.

A set of blue roses placed on one of the stones. Photo by Michael Young

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