Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The 9/11 Teardrop Memorial
I had no clue about this impressive and poignant 9/11 memorial until I received information and photos about it in a recent email. Known as the Teardrop Memorial, it was a gift to America from the country of Russia and is dedicated "To the Struggle Against World Terrorism."
The somber memorial stands across the bay from New York City in an industrial area of Bayonne, New Jersey, within sight of the Statue of Liberty and where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center formerly stood. Apparently it is located in an area amid warehouses that is not that easy to get to and is not very well known as a tourist sight.
Zurab Tsereteli is the prominent Russian artist who designed the bronze sculpture, which stands 100 feet high and weighs 175 tons. The artist conceived the idea for the sculpture as the events unfolded on that very day in 2001. Various sources report that the artist himself foot the bill for the cost of the sculpture, however the country of Russia takes the credit on a plaque attached to the monument.
The incredible piece of art was shipped to America in six pieces and was erected under Tsereteli's supervision by a crew of Russian artisans. The memorial was unveiled in a ceremony on September 11, 2006.
There are nine pathways that lead to the sculpture, and the base has eleven sides. Engraved on the base of the sculpture are the thousands of names of those who perished in the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.
The body of the design resembles a tall tower and in its center is a large jagged tear with the shiny teardrop dangling down the middle. Made of nickel-plated stainless steel, the teardrop itself weighs four tons and is 40 feet in length and it goes without saying that the tear represents the immense sadness felt around the world on that fateful day. The materials for the teardrop were reportedly obtained from a secret Russian aircraft-building military factory.
Interestingly enough, the idea for this memorial was rejected by Jersey City, as local artists there objected by saying that it was “an insensitive, self-aggrandizing piece of pompousness by one of the world’s blatant self-promoters.”
At its dedication in 2006, President Bill Clinton said, "I would like to thank the people of Russia for this gift of solidarity in the war on terror. I thank my friend Zurab Tsereteli for his ability to catch the feelings that cannot be expressed by words." I would have to agree.