Empty Sky

Posted by Adrian Melia on November 7, 2011
Nov 072011


New Jersey 9/11 Empty Sky Memorial Dedication

To remember the victims from New Jersey who died during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the state of New Jersey recently opened the memorial “Empty Sky” at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. The memorial site is directly across the Hudson River from “Ground Zero” in Manhatten. It consists of “two 30-foot-high rectangular towers that stretch 208 feet, 10 inches long— the exact width of the World Trade Center towers” with a walkway inbetween so that visitors can read the names of those who died in the attacks inscribed on the stainless steel towers. The walls are in a direct line to where the Twin Towers stood in Lower Manhatten. The construction of the memorial faced protests from groups who did not want the memorial to obstruct views of Manhatten and for New Jersey to waste taxpayer money during economically difficult times.

I find it interesting that this memorial does not sit in the location of what it is memorializing. Rather, it sits across the river in a location where the real location can be seen, and can thus incorporate the actual site in its design even though it sits in a different city—and state. I think it represents the memory of the event more than the place itself as seen through a particular community that was directly affected by the event.