White Rose Signifies Remembrance of 9/11 Victims' Birthdays

A white rose stands at the name of Rosemary Smith on the 9/11 Memorial.
A white rose is left on the name of Rosemary A. Smith.

An idea from a volunteer in 2013 has become another way for visitors to learn about the victims, share their experience and connect. Before opening to the public, 9/11 Memorial Museum staff places a white rose at the name of each victim who has a birthday that day.

Inscribed on the 9/11 Memorial are the names of the 2,983 victims of the 1993 and 2001 attacks. Every morning a staff member checks a binder located in the 9/11 Memorial Museum that has each name and birthday listed chronologically. A white rose is cut two inches below the leaves and then placed at the name on the parapet.

Museum volunteer and 9/11 survivor, George Mironis requests this responsibility on the days he works. He even comes in on days he’s scheduled to be off to place the roses. For him, it’s a way to honor the friends and co-workers he lost 15 years ago.

There is at least one birthday for every day of the year and often more than one a day. Mikey “Flowers” Collarone of FloraTech, a downtown florist and former emergency medical technician that responded to 9/11, hand selects the roses from a local flower market and donates them to the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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