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Memorial of Remembrance (Stirling)
Dedicated to: The Victims of September 11
Type of Memorial: Shrine in Public Plaza
Location: The Shrine of Saint Joseph
Address: 1050 Long Hill Road
State: New Jersey
Country: United States
Open to Public: Yes
The purpose of this memorial is, according to their dedication, for it to serve as "A place of healing, prayer, and peace honoring the victims who died on September 11, 2001." It features a tower made of scrap steel recovered from the North Tower, donated by Shrine patron Ray Donovan. This steel has been welded to create a "Tower of Remembrance" that holds four bells form the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity's Seminary in Monroe Virginia that have been silent for almost 30 years. The bells ring every hour, and visitors are invited to toll the bottom bell in memory or hope. The tower is surrounded by landscaping that feels like arms encircling the visitor and bringing them into the site where they can view the tower, interact with the bells, and read the names of the dead. It is adjacent to a woodland, and they plan to reforest around the site to make if feel more natural and contiguous with the woods.
Reason site was selected:
The Shrine is a place of exceptional natural beauty and spiritual comfort to which many New Jersey widows and others affected by September 11 were coming to seek solace. The memorial was a merging of Rev. Krebs desire to utilize the bells and Ray Donovan's acquisition of World Trade Center scrap. They felt compelled to build a place of beauty for their parishioners, town, state, and country.
Events planned for site:
Since their July 13, 2002 dedication, despite being a Catholic shrine, the site is open to the public seven days a week, year round. Administrator Pat Hughes noted, "if we only did it for one person, it was worth it. We want to make all those who have lost loved ones welcome here." Visitors already come daily, informally, as well as with bereavement groups and other organizations. They keep it sheltered from the media but open to the public and want to keep the focus on survivors and those who lost loved ones.
Do you believe your memorial is a sacred place?:
Rev. Peter Krebs and administrator Pat Hughes believe that both the memorial and the entire Shrine of St. Joseph are sacred. Krebs noted the difference between a monument that one merely visits and moves on from, and a memorial, which is healing, peaceful, private, and non-commercial. Rev. Krebs described the design elements created to make it a healing landscape, including white pines that symbolize peace in Native American culture, white flowers that are healing to the touch, the soothing color of lavender plantings, the sound and feel of the resonating, tolling bell, and so on. He wants it to be a site that peacefully engages all the senses, inviting contemplation and remembrance.
Web Site: www.stshrine.org