Monument Dedicated to 9/11 Victims to be Unveiled in Jerusalem
Part of memorial that demonstrates commitment to hope, peace, and tolerance for humankind
Contact: Jodi Bodner • JNF Director of Communications • 212-879-9305 ext. 221 • firstname.lastname@example.org
June 3, 2009 -- New York, NY -- A grand, 30-foot high bronze sculpture depicting a waving American flag transforming into a memorial flame will be unveiled in the Arazim Valley in Ramot, Jerusalem on Tuesday, June 23 at 12:30 p.m. This monument is the first part of a much larger memorial -- The Bronka Stavsky Rabin Weintraub Living Memorial-Jewish National Fund -- to be unveiled in November -- dedicated to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Built by Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (JNF-KKL) as a reminder of shared loss and a call for collective understanding, the entire memorial depicts the World Trade Center and the Pentagon through sculpture and landscape architecture. It greets visitors as they enter Jerusalem.
Upon completion, it will be the only place outside of New York that will recognize the names of the people who were killed that day as well as their countries of origin.
The monument was donated by New York resident and JNF major donor Edward Blank, Sharon Cosloy Blank, Rebecca Blank, Michael Blank, and May Cohn.
“My wife died just a few days before 9/11,” said Ed Blank, “and then the whole world was sent reeling by the events of that day. I was looking for a meritorious way to give recognition to this convergence of feelings I was having, and this memorial was the perfect fit.”
With input and ideas collected from the mayor of Jerusalem and top executives at JNF, award-winning Israeli artist E. Weishoff designed a 30- foot bronze sculpture, symbolizing the World Trade Center. Surrounded by a circular, crater-like plaza tiled in stone funded by the Bronka Stavsky Rabin Weinraub Trust, the sculpture will rest on a gray granite base, part of which is from the original Twin Towers. Lining the slopes of the crater will be more than 3,000 metal plates with the names of those fallen in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.
Amphitheater-style benches along the interior will provide visitors with space for viewing and reflection.
“Set against the magnificent backdrop of Jerusalem, the Living Memorial will be a moving site from which to mourn the victims of 9/11 as well as consider the thousands of victims of terrorism worldwide,” said Russell F. Robinson, chief executive officer of JNF. “This should be a place for visiting dignitaries -- presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors, and citizens of the world -- to come together to remember, reflect and heal. More than anything we hope that this Living Memorial will remind us to reaffirm our commitment to tolerance, the unity of mankind, and democracy.
“Jerusalem is a battleground of civilization but also a place of hope,” continued Robinson. “The memorial is situated in Jerusalem’s green belt; what better place to show that civilization won?”
About the Memorial Site
The sculpture was created with the purpose of expressing the event simply and symbolically without the use of elements of destruction, loss and ruin. Designed in the shape of the American flag that changes to a memorial flame, the flag’s stripes create descending and ascending waves to the top of the flames and an impressive 3-D effect.
The sculpture is cast in bronze, strengthened by metal construction designed to carry and stabilize itself. The sculpture is located in the center of a circular plaza tiled with natural stone. It sits on a textured gray granite cornice base, part of which is a section of the original construction that survived the 9/11 crash. The New York City Municipality generously sent the fragment to the Jerusalem Municipality for the purpose of including it in the base of the sculpture.
The plaza itself is planned and designed in a shape that resembles a crater, where the external side ascend and descend from the plaza. Metal plates with the more than 3,000 names of the fallen from NY and Washington form the slopes of the crater. Part of the interior will be used as benches for sitting and viewing the statue.
The forested hilltop at the foot of the pine forest turns, twists and descends leading to the “path of the donors.” On the path are milestones, sculpted metal memorial pillars inscribed with the names of the donors. Their shape reflects the shape of the memorial.
The immediate area cut around the stone creates an interesting contrast of the sculpture and emphasizes the names of the victims of the catastrophe.
The sculpture is seen over great distances by travelers on the highways at the entrance to Jerusalem. If one ascends to the area of the sculpture it is revealed suddenly in wake of the structure of the plaza. The sculpture will be illuminated with special lighting. Parking, bathroom facilities, and signs are also part of the design.
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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.
JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.
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