The memorial honoring the thousands of 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who are sick or died from exposure to toxins in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks opened in lower Manhattan on Thursday, coinciding with the 17th anniversary of the formal end to rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center site.
The 9/11 Memorial Glade consists of six monoliths inlaid with steel from the World Trade Center that are situated at the southwestern corner of the World Trade Center site, near where the main ramp that provided access to bedrock was placed during the recovery efforts.
The memorial was designed by Michael Arad, who with Peter Walker also designed Reflecting Absence, the pools of the 9/11 memorial. The six monoliths of granite that flank the glade weigh between 13 and 18 tons, and are placed on either side of a pathway that’s accompanied by an inscription on either end. The monoliths are meant to “symbolize strength and determination through adversity,” according to the 9/11 Memorial.
Thursday’s dedication ceremony was attended by Governor Andrew Cuomo, former mayor and National September 11 Memorial & Museum Board Chairman Michael Bloomberg, 9/11 Memorial & Museum President and CEO Alice M. Greenwald, and 9/11 health advocates and rescue worker widows.
“For generations to come, the 9/11 Memorial Glade will stand as a testament to the tremendous capacity of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable tragedy,” Greenwald said at the dedication. “The Glade honors all who continue to suffer from and succumb to illnesses in this ongoing health crisis stemming from 9/11.”
The memorial glade was completed at a cost of $5 million, with much of it coming from private investors.