Stone Garden and Statues of Light
A stone garden with interspersed vegetation and a few small waterfalls occupies the area between the tower footprints. The elevation of the garden walkways changes in order to access adjacent structures. Portions near the Southern boundary (Liberty Street Wall) start at street level, therefore the Liberty Street entrance enters directly to the garden. This is a variance to the memorial guidelines which call for a Liberty Street access ramp. The direct entrance at Liberty Street improves the integration of the memorial site with the surrounding neighborhood.
The winding walkways gradually slope downward as they approach the western boundary where the exposed slurry wall is visible, as prescribed by the Libeskind site plan. Most of the garden park is below street level, preserving the depressed Libeskind memorial concept. Trees will be planted throughout the garden along with a grass area for greenery. Benches will be distributed throughout so visitors can rest, view, and contemplate.
Statues of Light
Each individual would be represented in the rock garden by a clear (glass, crystal, or quartz) fiberoptically illuminated statue approximately 11 inches tall resting on its own rock base. Children's statues would stand at 7 to 9 inches. Basic information engraved on the base will include preferred name, birthdate, along with date and place of death. The small groups of victims who died after 9/11 would be inscribed as injured, indicating a later death. Skilled artisans individually craft each statue to match the general appearance of the individual as they were just prior to the attack, wearing the attire of their profession. Detailed information on each victim will be available in the Libeskind museum. All figurines will be placed no higher than 7 feet from the walkway so they can be touched while standing on the path or a small stool.
As visitors walk through the garden they will be able to see each individual as a lighted figure sculpted as they were in life. Firefighters will be in bunker gear, police and other rescue workers in appropriate uniform, office workers in their usual dress, maintenance and construction workers in work outfits. Limited information is available for some victims, therefore they are represented by a generic statue in ordinary street clothes.
The plan places relatives together at the request of the family. It also allows members of individual fire companies to be near each other as many died together. Since firefighters and other rescue workers died in many areas throughout the memorial area, they will be distributed throughout the garden area and not grouped as a whole, as will also be the case for company employees.
As has been done on the Vietnam Memorial, individuals who die prematurely of injuries suffered in the attacks would be eligible for inclusion in the garden. The official medical examiners list currently includes a small number of victims injured on 9-11 who have already passed away.
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