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  A memorial for Ground Zero
Updated 20 November 2003, 14.15
Reflecting Absence: A Memorial at the World Trade Center Site by Michael Arad

PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Dealing with loss

The eight finalists for the Ground Zero memorial have been chosen.

Americans marked the six-month anniversary of 11 September with a powerful Tribute of Light.

Students design their own memorial to commemorate those events.

Learning aims

  • Reflect upon the events of 11 September.

  • Design a memorial for those events.
The Tribute of Light

Read the story

If possible display the images in our gallery:

Ask the class:

  • Why do people make memorials and tributes?

  • What different types of memorial can you think of?

    Gravestones, war monuments, places where famous people lived etc

  • Which do you think is the most fitting memorial?

  • Should the World Trade Center be rebuilt and stand as a memorial?
Present and discuss some of memorial ideas that can be found in the Teachers' Background. Some are for Ground Zero and others are for different events.

Main activity
Design a fitting memorial for Ground Zero and/or write a poem to remember the events.

Ideas might include:

  • A statue representing the victims
  • A symbol of hope
  • A monument that draws its design from the World Trade Center
  • A peace park
Students should include an explanation of the thinking behind their design.

Extension activity
Students could construct a model of their memorial.

Limit the size of the models (about 30cm in height should be fine) so that the ideas can be displayed more easily.

Students present their ideas and/or poems and give their reasons for their designs.

Teachers' Background

Ground Zero memorial ideas:

  • Two piers could project out into New York Harbour. Each would be divided into 110 'floors'. As visitors pass over each floor they encounter the story of what happened on that floor, including names of victims.

  • An park and an underground memorial could be connected by a circular pool. The pool's 3,000 pieces of blue stained glass would form the ceiling of the underground memorial and would be illuminated by day and by night. The pool would be curved like the top of a sphere and its colours will suggest the Earth.
Other memorials around the world:

Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park

  • It contains very moving displays of the effects of the atomic bombing.

  • In front of the building is a statue called Mother and Child in the Storm and the Fountain of Prayer.

  • Colourful origami cranes are left on most of the memorials, monuments and statues in the park as a symbol of visitors' wish for Peace.
Washington DC World War II Memorial
  • Consists of the Rainbow Pool surrounded in a circular pattern with 56 pillars to represent the unity of the US states and territories during the war.

  • Visitors will enter the sunken plaza on ramps which will pass by two giant arches that represent the two fronts of the war.

  • Inside there will be a Freedom Wall covered with 4,000 gold stars, each representing 100 Americans that died during World War II.

For all links and resources click at top right.

More InfoBORDER=0
UKStars prepare for Milly memorial
WorldTribute of Light marks 11 September
Pictures9/11 memorial finalists
Find OutOur guide to Remembrance Day
Chat9/11 - kids' thoughts two years on


Web Links
Twin Piers by Fred Bernstein
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