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in lights

Pierre David with Sean Corriel, Jessica Kmetovic, Paris, France

The eight finalists for the World Trade Center memorial have been announced.

They are all beautiful in their own way. Don't just look at the pictures, read the accompanying text on each one.

The Garden of Light is my favorite. I imagine myself standing there at the memorial, looking around the lighted alters for familiar names. The darkness is almost reverent; the way the light filters down on each altar gives the design a spiritual feel. It is sacred, it is serious and yet, there is light. I can see the fingers of relatives, tracing their loved one's name, like visitors making etches of the dead at the Vietnam Memorial.

The room of light looks almost healing, like being washed in the aura of those left behind.

Leading to the north room of light is an offering path, a stream lined with roses. They give a rose, and the floating petals bring them into the north room of light.

There's a room of light, which looks like a room of stars; a place for those unidentified victims to be part of this rememberance.

It's all so beautiful, yet so sad. The hurt really never goes away, and memorials and roses and lights won't make the hurt and anger disappear. But they can give place to go that's more than just a gaping hole in the ground for those who want to stand at the spot where their husband, wife, child, friend, or co-worker died. Being able to go stand amid the lights and stillness and beauty can certainly move us towards feeling whole again.

Related: Voices

Jeff Jarvis submitted a design. You can see it and read about it here. Jeff, I think your idea would have made a beautiful, moving memorial.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference in lights:

» WTC Memorial Finalists from Backcountry Conservative
The final eight designs have been unveiled for a memorial on the site of the World Trade Center. Update: michele has more.... [Read More]

» Memorials from Sheila Astray's Redheaded Ramblings
"On Nov. 19, 2003, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announced eight finalists in the competition to design a permanent memorial at the World Trade Center. I'm not sure which one I like best. The "Suspending Memory" one struck a chord... [Read More]


I agree. They're all great designs. I think I like the Reflective Absence the best, but might prefer the Lower Waters or Passages of Light as being more hopeful/positive. These designs are better then the ones for the replacement buildings.

I like Dual Memory, probably because it seems the least abstract and the most immediate about the loss of 2900+ humans.

Eek, I can't even stand to read about these. The phrase "floating petals" is too evocative of falling people. I feel nausea just writing this...

I better stay away from this stuff.

Floating is not falling.

I like the "inversion of light" one the best. It is very intriguing, and beutiful (though I have only seen the one picture).
One thing I considered when looking at the images is: How easy will it be for some jackass to vandalize the memorial. Trust me, there are plenty of ****heads out there who will do exactly that. Garden of lights is pretty, but, I don't think it would survive.
Absense is another good choice, in my opinion.

I'm not trying to bring down the artists. The memorial ideas are all fantastic, and I have high repect for each of the designs, I just want to see something put up that will last a long time.

all very pretty, very memorialish. All images of sadness, of grief, of healing.

All bandages over a wound that will be deliberately kept open.

Build them back. My usual comment. Heal the city. Restore the city to what it was before. Show the world that nothing will keep us down.

Of course, my words, and the words of all of those who want a rebuild fall on deaf ears. A mausoleum is considered more important than the life that must go on. But it will not. Here, in the heart of the city, arguably the nation, we will enshrine Death, we will make a place of stillness, of silence.

We will look skyward no more.

My choice of a memorial would be one memorial to the fallen rescue workers, on the 111th floor of a rebuilt tower, and one memorial to the civilian dead on the 111th floor of the other rebuilt tower. But unfortunately, Jack's right. We'd rather turn the place into a mausoleum.

Riyadh delenda est!