Sunday, September 12, 2010

Update: LOST IN JERSEY; The 9/11 Monument You've Never Heard Of


About six weeks ago I wrote a blog entry about the so called "Tear Drop 9/11 Monument" in Bayonne, New Jersey, a gift from the Russian people to the United States as a memorial to the victims of the September 11 terror attacks. The piece told about the difficulty in finding it, how amazingly under publicized the memorial is, and the almost total lack of news media bringing attention to it.


Well, today marked the first time I've ever heard a mention of the Teardrop Memorial by any member of the national media, and it came from an unexpected source.

During this afternoon's New York Giants-Carolina Panthers game from the new Meadowlands Stadium in Northern New Jersey, it wasn't anyone from NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, or FOX NEWS talking about the existence of the talked about but largely unknown memorial. In fact, they weren't true "news guys" telling the story. The reporters relaying the abbreviated story of the monument were the FOX Sports broadcast team of Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston, calling the game along with partner Tony Siragusa. It seems that one of the members of the technical crew was from Bayonne, and told the guys about the 100 foot tall monument on the shore of Bayonne's harbor. To the best of my knowledge, there is no existing archival footage from any major national news organization on the internet; as I said in my previous piece, very few New Jersey residents even know of it's existence.....and even fewer New Yorkers know of it.


Yesterday dignitaries, families of the victims, and others flocked to the site of the World Trade Center, and to the Pentagon, and to Shanksville, Pennsylvania for remembrances on the ninth anniversary of the attacks. A crowd said to be in the hundreds was present at the Tear Drop Monument for interfaith services, organized by Rabbi Gordon Gladstone of Temple Beth Am in Bayonne.

And there is more news regarding the memorial itself....it could be moved in the near future.

Plans are being made to remove the memorial- and find a new location for it- to make way for another container port on the harbor.

That's right....more space is needed on the New Jersey waterfront; not enough space, so commercial needs demand the removal of this amazing work of art. It's not making a buck for anyone....artist Zurab Tsereteli, who designed the memorial, had the misfortune of putting it on prime real estate. And everything and everyone has it's price.

Mr.Tsereteli is said to be saddened by the news of the probable move of the monument. As the artist has said, it is the only significant memorial to the victims of the attacks in the New York metropolitan area, and it overlooked the spot where the Twin Towers once stood. And I feel his sadness at this news as well.

The memorial was a gift from one the people of one nation to another, its a magnificent piece of architecture, and a symbol of the world's struggle against those who wantonly kill and destroy. And to have this gift treated like an ugly pair of argyle socks from Aunt Edna on Christmas, cast into a corner and dismissed as an afterthought...and moved because somebody needs the space to make more money for their stockholders....sadly says something about we, the people, who are ready to let it happen without a word of protest.

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