September 11 Memorials in NYC Parks
After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, New Yorkers honored those who were lost with physical tributes to their lives and legacy. Those who choose to commemorate September 11th can find places of respite and remembrance in parks across the city. While some memorial markers, such as the Staten Island September 11 Memorial, do not fall under our jurisdiction, below are a few of the memorials that New Yorkers have created in our parkland.
Bruce Reynolds Garden, Manhattan
This small garden in Isham Park honors the memory of Bruce Reynolds, a Port Authority Police Officer who died while rescuing others from the World Trade Center on September 11. Reynolds was a former Urban Park Ranger and a founder of the Park Terrace West Gang, which brought neighborhood teens together to restore Isham Park, especially the garden. Reynolds eventually left NYC Parks to become a police officer, and was last seen on September 11, helping a woman who had been seriously burned by jet fuel.
9/11 Tribute Park, Queens
This lovely waterfront spot in the Rockaways was an empty lot on September 11, 2001. The Twin Towers were visible from the spot, and hundreds of local residents stood here and watched the tragedy unfold. With help from the community, this serene park was built to commemorate the day. It includes a mosaic centerpiece, a cupola, and a granite rock engraved with the names of all 343 firefighters who died on September 11.
Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance at MCU Park, Brooklyn
Photo by Stephen Moran/Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance
The Brooklyn Cyclones stadium by Coney Island’s Steeplechase Pier contains a large memorial, consisting of three large granite walls with the names of firefighters, Port Authority officers, police officers, and a K-9 dog who perished in the rescue efforts. Several events are hosted at the wall each year, including a candlelight ceremony on September 10.
September 11, 2001 Living Memorial Groves
The September 11, 2001 Living Memorial Grove at Sunset Park is the city’s first living memorial to the events of September 11. The memorial consists of 45 flowering trees planted in an oval, along with a triangular garden filled with white carpet roses, cotoneaster shrubs, and many white dwarf narcissus.
The Sunset Park memorial grove is now just one of several September 11 Living Memorial Groves across the city at City Hall Park in Manhattan, MacNeil Park in Queens, Von Briesen Park on Staten Island, and Ferry Point Park in the Bronx.
Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden, Manhattan
Photo courtesy of Queen Elizabeth II Garden
This small park in the Financial District’s Hanover Square was commissioned by the British Memorial Garden Trust for New York City in memory of the members of the British Commonwealth who died. Symbols within the garden, from the Morayshire sandstone brought from Scotland to the British national flowers ascribed on the fence, remind visitors of the friendship between the United States and the United Kingdom, and of the loss suffered by both countries on that day.
Beacon at American Veterans Memorial Pier
At the American Veterans Memorial Pier off 69th Street in Bay Ridge, a 25-foot tall monument stands as a reminder to the 283 Brooklyn residents lost on September 11th. The bronze memorial, named the Beacon for its illumination each evening, is shaped like the trumpets once used by New York City’s volunteer fire brigades to alert neighbors to a crisis. From the memorial, visitors can see the former site of the World Trade Center, as well as the Statue of Liberty to the south.