There are several symbolic themes presented in the proposed design. A thirty-five foot high wall is at the center of the design. Wrapped around the wall is the exit stairs. As the
wall rises to its full height, however, it turns to flame. To reinforce the sense of chaos, the stair is slightly skewed, wider at ground level and diminishing into the wall as it rises. On the top landing, the
silhouette of a Fireman disappears into the flame. Victims pour down the stair while Firemen force their way up.
The firewall is set on a round platform. The flow of occupants is a centrifugal thrust away
from Ground Zero, while the rescuers are caught in a centripetal pull toward the tragedy. Fear, panic, anger, concern and exhaustion are carved into the faces of the men and women rushing from the building. Resolve
is on the faces of those rushing in.
One end of the firewall is placed precisely at the center of the round base. On September 11th, at precisely 8:45AM, the shadow of the wall begins to fall across a
distressed area of the circle. As the minutes tick away, the shadow highlights a series of times and events. The time of each event - the first tower hit, the second, the Pentagon hit, the plane down in
Pennsylvania, the first collapse, and the second - is carved into the base, acting like a sundial, recording the sequence of events on that terrible day.
This is a Memorial that carries two messages... . It
will serve as a reminder of the vicious act of inhumanity that occurred that sunny day in New York, but it is also is reminder to the rest of the world that this is a nation of deep resolve, a people who will endure
any pain and hardship to preserve their country's freedom.
This Memorial will be constructed and cast in stainless steel with all the elements of the composition assuming the appearance of the ghostly gray
dust that covered every person and surface at Ground Zero. The inner structure will be fabricated from scrap steel beams taken from the original Trade Center after the collapse.
Many of America's memorials
are placed on a pedestal or surrounded by fences - something to be viewed from a distance. This is a memorial that allows the viewer an opportunity to walk into it - to see the faces, to feel the hands, to become a
part of the experience.
Original Thematic Design Concept: Dennis L. Stout
Sculptors: Lawrence Noble, William Lecky
Memorial Design: William Lecky, Ai Architects