New 9/11 Memorial monument honors first responders exposed to Ground Zero toxins

May 31, 2018

Sixteen years ago as of yesterday, the rescue and recovery effort for the September 11th attacks ended. It’s estimated that 400,000 people were exposed to life-threatening toxins, and since then, nearly 70,000 first responders and more than 14,000 survivors have enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program. Yesterday, former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart and 9/11 Memorial & Museum president Alice Greenwald revealed the official design for Memorial Glade, a monument to all those who have lost their lives or are sick due to these related illnesses. In addition to increasing awareness about the health crisis, the memorial will also “recognize the tremendous capacity of the human spirit, as exemplified during the rescue, recovery and relief efforts following the 9/11 attacks.”

Memorial Glade was designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, both of whom are responsible for the design of the original memorial. According to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum:

The design includes a pathway flanked by a series of large stone elements pointed skyward that are worn, but not beaten, symbolizing strength and determination through adversity. The inscription, anticipated to incorporate World Trade Center steel, will be developed to complement the physical design.

The dedication will be in the clearing on what is known as the Memorial Glade. This meaningful location on the Memorial Plaza will mark the historical placement of the main ramp used during the recovery period to remove debris and establish a pathway for rebuilding.

Jon Stewart, who has been a vocal advocate for first responders’ health benefits and who pushed strongly for the reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, will lead the fundraising efforts for Memorial Glade. In an op-ed in the Daily News he said:

Those suffering from WTC-related health effects, their families and their friends confront a very present 9/11 reality. And, we at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum recognize our obligation to tell their stories, too. It is vital that they are told.

Our duty to posterity is to preserve the complete history of 9/11, including its continuing impacts and far-reaching implications in today’s world. We understand this to be a sacred obligation, one that is nothing less than a privilege to honor.


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