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Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition Memorial Garden (Brooklyn)


Type of Memorial: Community Garden


Address: Furman Street

City: Brooklyn

State: New York

Country: United States


Open to Public: Yes



Purpose: The memorial was part of a huge community effort to do something after the smoke cleared. It really was unplanned but became very positive as a way for this community to come together and get through the early days. People couldn't wait for spring. And we wanted to share that with everyone who was on the promenade that day - and each day following 9/11. When we were asked by Lynden Miller if we could use 25,000 daffodil bulbs I couldn't think of a better way to remember this horrific event then with the symbols of life. Honestly, we were not quite comfortable with linking our project to the tragedy but then 600 people were at our door. Our largest volunteer group to date. Everyone was looking to do something. It was an amazing experience and there was so much cooperation among us. We received thousands of dollars worth of supplies - for site preparation, soil, and our sign and then the firemen showed up on our first clean up day. They stood with us at the site for Saturday's citywide moment of silence. It was a very powerful moment.

Reason site was selected: It was one of the last pieces of privately owned land on the pier. It was coming over to us - but it was not yet designed. This pier is situated perfectly against the Manhattan skyline. It was funny how that happened. The site is quite unique; it overlooks Manhattan with a spectacular view. Thousands of people looked out over these piers and toward lower Manhattan. Days later when the smoke cleared there was a candlelight vigil. That promenade - and those piers - has always been a way for us to look at the city and then to look back at ourselves.

Events planned for site: On April 6, 2002 we planned a moment of silence for our volunteers. Local fireman came down to Furman Street to test their gear and ladders. It was a total coincidence. We invited them to stand with us and they did.

Do you believe your memorial is a sacred place?: The fate of this space will be in many people's hands. We believe that the process by which it was created was sacred. When we planted the garden, it was for ourselves. There has been media coverage about this site but it's our private healing process that is sacred. We notice, when we work on the site, people from the promenade are staring down at us. It's then that you become very self-aware and know that this is public space. Many people must have a say in the garden's ultimate vision, at the same time I think of the candle shrines on the promenade. They are still there. Who is going to bother them? Remove them? These daffodils can come back, they tell us, up to 40 years.

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Web Site: www.brooklynbridgepark.org



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