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The Daffodil Project (New York)

 

Type of Memorial: Community Garden, School Garden, Park, Public Plaza or Town Center

 

Location: Throughout New York City

City: New York

State: New York

Country: United States

 

Open to Public: Yes

 

Description: Purpose:The Daffodil Project was founded in response to the attacks of September 11 as a memorial, which would raise the spirits of New Yorkers and revitalize parks and communities throughout the five boroughs. A joint endeavor between NY4P and the Department of Parks & Recreation, volunteers plant bulbs all over the city each fall, and in the spring communities come together to celebrate their blooming as visible symbols of perseverance and restoration.

Reason site was selected:This Daffodil Project is distinct in that it involves no particular site. All public parks and community gardens are potential sites for the Daffodil Project. After 9/11, New Yorkers turned to their parks as a common ground where they could congregate, debate, memorialize, grieve, and find spiritual and physical renewal. The Daffodil Project is a lasting tribute to the people that died and the heroes that were born that day, it is a symbol of remembrance and rebirth in the heart of what is common ground for all of the citizens of New York: their public parks.

Events planned for site:In the spring, communities gather around the daffodils in order to focus attention on the tragedy of 9/11, and also the importance of open spaces in an urban environment. When you strengthen parks, you strengthen the very places that represent the freedom to gather, the freedom to exchange ideas, and the joy of community. To do so, we believe, is to honor the New Yorkers who lost their lives.

Do you believe your memorial is a sacred place?:The question “why” I think is best answered by quoting part of the speech given by Mr. J.A. Reynolds at a breakfast NY4P held to celebrate the Daffodil Project. In 1970, J. A. Reynolds along with his wife, Geraldine and son, Bruce led the efforts to cultivate the gardens of Isham Park, in upper Manhattan. The garden is now named for Bruce. “Finding joy and happiness by partaking of nature is what I passed to our son, Bruce A. Reynolds, a port authority police officer, who perished in the WTC attack on 9/11. “When our son departed the earth in such a hurry, no farewell words were spoken, no time to say goodbye, I became spider-webbed in a dream from which I would not awaken less it come true that Bruce was truly gone. A trance. “Jim Dwyer of The New York Times called me immediately after a meeting with Commissioner Adrian Benepe to ask what became of a shipment of daffodils sent to me by the NYC Parks Department for planting in Isham Park - close to my apartment in upper Manhattan. Bruce, my wife, Geraldine, and I coordinated the operation of this wild & woodland community garden for more than thirty years. “Mr. Dwyer persuaded me to at least return to the garden long enough to plant the bulbs on November 30, 2001, before they spoiled - particularly because they had been sent to NYC by Hans van Waardenburg of Holland in memory of the WTC victims. “When spring came and those daffodils appeared through a scattering of snow and began to bloom yellow, yellow, yellow - there was Bruce our beloved son passed through death to everlasting life. ‘yellow is the color of remembrance.’ From the book of Daniel: chapter 12: 1-3 "of those who lie sleeping in the dust of the earth many will awake" and likewise, those who lie sleeping in the dust of the WTC, many will awake each spring when the daffodils bloom all over New York City.”

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Contact: anelson@ny4p.org

 

 

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