Saturday, September 09, 2006

Eleven Tears

Eleven silver strands of light,
Eleven facets of a gleaming heart,
Eleven tears, forever falling, on
Eleven names in a tranquil pool.

While the government is still years away from constructing even the simplest memorial to the thousands who died on September 11, 2001, American Express commissioned a work of art to honor the 11 AMEX employees killed in the terrorist attack.

Entitled 11 Tears, it occupies a lobby corner of American Express' corporate headquarters at the World Financial Center. The work was designed by landscape architect Ken Smith, a native of Iowa who now lives and works in lower Manhattan. It "unites sky and ground, heaven and earth" and incorporates natural elements: water, light, quartz crystal and black granite. At the center is a 600 pound tear-shaped piece of Brazilian quartz, which was carved to have 11 sides, one for each victim.

The massive crystal is set into a stainless steel ring and suspended from the ceiling by 11 thin cables. Beneath the point of the upside-down tear is an 11 sided black granite pool; each side is inscribed with the name of an employee and a few words, selected by those who knew them best, to summarize the people they were.

At random intervals, 11 drops of water fall from the ceiling into the pool, creating intersecting ripples, "symbolizing the connections among the close-knit group of colleagues and friends." The fountain is surrounded by benches of matching black granite. Visitors sitting there and looking through the windows find themselves gazing directly at the site where the 11 died, working as American Express travel counselors on the 94th floor of One World Trade Center.

Lisa Kearney-Griffin Posted by Picasa

Bridget Esposito Posted by Picasa

Benito Valentin Posted by Picasa

Yvonne Bonomo Posted by Picasa

Anne Talsky Ransom Posted by Picasa

Lucia Crifasi Posted by Picasa

Karen Renda Posted by Picasa

Paul T. Zois Posted by Picasa

Sigrid Wiswe Posted by Picasa

Loretta Ann Vero Posted by Picasa

Gennardy Boyarsky Posted by Picasa

Out the window is the World Trade Center Posted by Picasa

In Memoriam Posted by Picasa

Architect Ken Smith Posted by Picasa

  • Iowa State University: Ken Smith

  • Lawrence Stoller CrystalWorks

  • New York Times: The Enduring Salute

  • JCK-Jewelers Circular Keystone: AMEX Remembers Eleven

  • American Express

    At 9/13/2006 09:13:00 AM, Anonymous Phelan said...

    Wonderful memorial.

    At 9/13/2006 06:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thank you for posting this. It is amazing.

    At 9/16/2006 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Madame U said...

    For some reason when I read this I thought of Margaret Mead's quote: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

    Thank you for posting this. I am so glad to see these efforsts to memorialize the people who were lost, especially since our government has shamefully done nothing.

    At 11/04/2006 01:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This is a beautiful tribute to those people who worked for American Express. When I came with my daughter's high school chorus in April, this memorial brought tears to all of us even though we didn't know the people. THANK YOU for making this amazing memorial.


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