It’s called “Reflecting Absence” and consists of two square “voids” with waterfalls fill pools that fall again into two smaller voids, all set in the original footprints of the Twin Towers. The waterfalls are supposed to mark the passage of time, endlessly flowing into the earth. The moving water is meant to be cleansing and its sound soothing.
According to Michael Arad, who won the competition to design the 9/11 Memorial:
“You walk up to the edge of these voids, you see these voids that are tangible emptiness. It’s not an emptiness that’s devoid of meaning. It’s an emptiness that’s full of meaning. It’s about the persistence of this absence in so many ways, absence of these people, absence of the towers that stood here.”
Of the 2,753 people who perished there, about 40% of the victims were never recovered from the site. The victims’ names are cut into bronze panels that hang at the waterfall edges and, with input from the victims’ families, are placed in meaningful clusters so that they are placed near a best friend or neighbors who rode into work together every day.
More than 600 workers are involved in the building of the 9/11 memorial and it will have taken about six years to complete. It is expected to become the most visited site in New York City.
The memorial opens September 11, 2011.
View the behind the scenes pictures of the construction of the 9/11 memorial.