Brooklyn Bridge Park 9-11 Daffodil Project; Middletown, New Jersey WTC Memorial Garden; Richard Cudina Memorial Lebannon Township, NJ
Sept 11th Memorial Walkway 63rd & 64th Street Community Garden Brooklyn, NY; Sustainable South Bronx Living Memorial Trail Community Design Meeting
Because of the overwhelming desire to honor and memorialize the tragic losses that occurred on September 11, 2001 (9-11) the United States Congress asked the USDA Forest Service to create the Living Memorials Project (LMP). This initiative invokes the resonating power of trees to bring people together and create lasting, living memorials to the victims of terrorism, their families, communities, and the nation. Cost-share grants provided by the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry supported the design and development of community projects in the New York City metropolitan area, southwest Pennsylvania, and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In the Southern Area (Region 8), the Forest Service worked with officials from the Pentagon, American Forests and Arlington County on developing additional memorial sites.
The Northern Research Station conducted an open and participatory social and site assessment of public spaces that have been created, used, or enhanced in memory of this tragic event. Researchers created a National Registry that serves as an online inventory of hundreds of community-based, living memorial sites. Memorials created from 2001-2004 are displayed on a National Map which will continue to be updated as new site locations are identified, registered and uploaded to the site. Findings from the first years of research are available on this site. This research project was awarded the 2007 EDRA/Places Award for Research. The National Registry was also given an award on September 11, 2007 for "Preserving 9/11" by "Voices of September 11th.
The concept of planting "living memorials" is not new. For centuries, humans have used nature as a symbolic and innate response to mark the cycles of life. The LMP attempted to amplify community actions in the post-9-11 context and to connect these decentralized, yet common, threads of expression and hope.