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World Trade Center site to get memorial honoring those affected by 9/11-related illnesses

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The Memorial Glade at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum will open in May

Max Touhey

Since the September 11 attacks in 2001, thousands of people who worked on the post-9/11 recovery efforts have been sickened with, or have died from, illnesses related to their time spent at the World Trade Center. And in the spring—on the 17th anniversary of the date that the recovery effort officially ended—those workers, along with others who have died or otherwise been affected by 9/11-related illnesses, will be honored with a memorial of their own at the WTC site.

The New York Post reports that the 9/11 Memorial and Museum plans to open a section dedicated to those who’ve died or have grappled with 9/11-related illnesses—first responders, survivors, and New Yorkers who lived close to the World Trade Center site during the recovery efforts among them.

Architects Michael Arad and Peter Walker, who designed “Reflecting Absence,” the twin pools of the memorial, also planned the new addition. Per the Post, it will include six huge stone monoliths, made from granite and weighing up to 17 tons, that “are worn, but not beaten, symbolizing strength and determination through adversity.” They’ll be placed in the Memorial Glade, which is located at the southwestern corner of the site—it’s a symbolic spot, which “marks the historical placement of the main ramp which provided access to bedrock during the recovery period,” per the museum.

Moso Studio

The plan doesn’t call for a wall or similar space for the names of those who’ve died, but will include a plaque of some sort. The design was first unveiled in 2018.

The museum estimates that the new memorial will cost $5 million, with much of that coming from private investors. New York state has also contributed funding, and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who has long been an advocate for those sickened in the wake of 9/11, will also lead fundraising efforts. Construction is underway, with the monoliths currently being formed in Vermont; if all goes according to plan, the new memorial will debut on May 30, marking the 17th anniversary of when official recovery efforts ended.