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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 November, 2003, 12:38 GMT
WTC memorial designs unveiled

By Jane Standley
BBC correspondent in New York

The eight final designs for a memorial on the site of New York's World Trade Center have been unveiled in the city.

The memorial will honour the victims of all the attacks on 11 September 2001 in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, as well as of the earlier bombing of the Twin Towers in 1993.

Passages of Light - the Memorial Cloud: One of eight shortlisted designs

The competition to build the memorial attracted 5,201 entries from 63 countries during the past four months.

The majority of the finalists are from designers based in the United States, although one is from France and another is from Israel.

Anyone over the age of 18 could enter.

Water, lights, muted colours and open green spaces are common themes of all eight final designs, as are ways of listing the names of every one of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks.

This is partly the result of the mission statement sent out to the design competition entrants, but is also due to demands from family members of the victims.

They want everyone commemorated, and for the memorial to be a place of sanctuary for private grief and a resting place for the human remains which remain unidentified.

Commercial pressures

Many relatives also want what they describe as the entire footprints of the Twin Towers - down to the bedrock of the foundations they stood on - included in the memorial.

Which of the eight designs would you choose for the World Trade Center site?
Reflecting Absence
Inversion of Light
Suspending Memory
Votives in Suspension
Dual Memory
Garden of Lights
Lower Waters
Passages of Light: The Memorial Cloud
2765 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
They appear to have got their way with the unveiling of the final eight designs.

But it follows an emotionally charged debate - commercial interests have been arguing that there needs to be more office and retail space on the site.

The shortlist of finalists had been kept a closely-guarded secret. So had the discussions of the 13-member panel which is to choose a winner by the end of the year.

It is an attempt to limit the political and public pressures which have dogged the design for rebuilding the World Trade Center and to try to put a lid on some of the very public rows which have taken place.

Construction of the memorial is set to begin in 2006. Although there is to be no public consultation process, it is likely that the views of the public and of victims' family members will be taken into some sort of consideration.

Firefighter Bob Spellman - who lost dozens of friends in the attack on the World Trade Center - was there to see the designs being unveiled at the Winter Gardens, right next to Ground Zero.

He, like many people, says that whatever memorial is chosen, must reflect the events of the day, and the heroism of the people involved.

This did not just apply to members of the uniformed services, he said, but to everyone who tried to help overcome the horror of the events.

Please email us your comments about the designs for the World Trade Center memorial using the form below.

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Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published.

In pictures: 9/11 memorial finalists
19 Nov 03  |  Photo Gallery
Architect 'in control' of WTC plans
11 Oct 03  |  Americas
WTC attacks death toll falls
29 Oct 03  |  Americas
The battle over Ground Zero
04 Sep 03  |  Americas
WTC memorial to store lost victims
25 Aug 03  |  Americas

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