On Thursday, May 30, 2019, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum dedicated the 9/11 Memorial Glade in a morning ceremony on the Memorial plaza. The permanent modification to the 9/11 Memorial honors all who are sick or have died from exposure to toxins at the World Trade Center site in the aftermath of 9/11. The Glade dedication coincided with the 17th anniversary of the official end of the recovery mission at Ground Zero.
The program began at 10:30 a.m. on the 9/11 Memorial with a pipe and drums procession and presentation of the colors, followed by a rendition of the national anthem performed by Port Authority Police Officer Gil Ramos. Shortly thereafter, 9/11 Memorial & Museum Chairman Michael R. Bloomberg made opening remarks and led visitors in a moment of silence. In speaking of those the Glade honors, Bloomberg said “They showed the world what is possible when people work together with a common purpose. And like the heroes we lost on 9/11, their selfless acts provided light that helped guide us through our darkest hours and they allowed our city to rise again.”
Remarks were given by Alphonso David, Counsel to the New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Caryn Pfeifer, wife of late FDNY firefighter and 9/11 health advocate Raymond J. Pfeifer. Ray Pfeifer lost all 12 members of his Manhattan firehouse on September 11 and spent the weeks and months following the attacks working tirelessly on the pile at Ground Zero in the rescue and recovery efforts. Ray died over two years ago from 9/11-related cancer. “And in a way, this glade reminds me of him. Its trees that offer shelter and reach for the sky, providing a place to sit and remember and be together,” recounted Caryn.
The ceremony concluded with students from lower Manhattan’s Stuyvesant High School choir performing “America the Beautiful.” 9/11 Memorial & Museum President & CEO Alice Greenwald read aloud the Glade’s inscription:
This Memorial Glade is dedicated
To those whose actions in our time of need
Led to their injury, sickness, and death
Responders and recovery workers
Survivors and community members
Suffering long after September 11, 2001
From exposure to hazards and toxins
That hung heavy in the air
Here and beyond this site known as Ground Zero
And at the Pentagon
And near Shanksville, Pennsylvania
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.
Here we honor the tens of thousands
From across America and around the world
Who came to help and to heal
Whose selflessness and resolve
Perseverance and courage
Renewed the spirit of a grieving city
Gave hope to the nation
And inspired the world.
The day’s events of commemoration continued into the evening and into the Museum with a community event featuring “Choir!Choir!Choir!” and singer/composer Rufus Wainwright. Participants in the ceremony gathered around the Last Column in Foundation Hall to learn and sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
By 9/11 Memorial Staff