The website for the national 9/11 memorial, www.911memorial.org, includes a registry of more than 1,000 memorial sites that commemorate the lives lost on September 11, 2001.
As the 15th anniversary of that day approaches, we survey some of the sites that are located in central New Jersey, including several that are hiding in plain sight.
Princeton University, between East Pyne Hall and Nassau Hall. Designed by architects from the Office of Physical Planning, landscape architects Quennell Rothschild and Partners, and sculptor and potter Toshiko Takaezu.
Inscription: “This garden is dedicated to the 13 Princeton alumni who tragically lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.”
This memorial garden features a stone walkway, stone benches, and a bronze bell titled Remembrance that marks the entrance. The walkway includes a bluestone plaque and 13 bronze stars that are engraved with names and class years of the 13 Princeton alumni who perished in the attacks.
A bench on the sidewalk at 242 Nassau Street.
Inscription: In Memoriam, Peter Craig Alderman, August 19, 1976 – September 11, 2001.
A plaque affixed to a wooden bench outside Hoagie Haven, a sandwich shop that Alderman frequented while he was living in Princeton and working for Bloomberg. According to a posting at Legacy.com, Alderman also made a favorable impression at another Princeton hangout popular with young people and just a few doors away from Hoagie Haven: “Goodbye old friend to one of my best customers. Your smile and kind words will never be forgotten. Shiela from the Ivy.”
His parents have created the Peter C. Alderman Foundation. It works to heal the victims of terrorism and mass violence by training indigenous health workers in the effects of post-traumatic stress syndrome. It has established clinics in Cambodia, Uganda, Liberia, and Kenya and has treated thousands of patients.
There appears to be no official Princeton town commemoration of the 9/11 victims. The town did receive a steel beam from the wreckage, but the beam has a cross cut into it, apparently made by one of the workers dismantling the wreckage. Because of the religious symbolism, officials have been reluctant to use it in a public display.
West Windsor Parking Authority, a plaque located in a flower bed at the Princeton Junction Train Station.
Inscription: “In remembrance of those loved ones, family and friends who were lost in the tragic events of September 11, 2001.”
Ron Rogers Arboretum, Clarksville Road and Princeton-Hightstown Road.
The memorial, comprised of twin reflecting pools and a stone engraved with the names of the seven West Windsor Township residents who died on 9/11, was dedicated on April 27, 2002. A panel of photographs of the World Trade Center site taken after 9/11 and a piece of World Trade Center steel were added in a ceremony on September 11, 2011.
Inscription: “The West Windsor community dedicates this reflecting pond to honor those who perished in the events of that day and to celebrate life in the face of tragedy.”
The Wicoff House, Municipal Complex, Plainsboro Road. This memorial garden features a circular walkway with two benches and a half-moon-shaped plaque at its center. Situated along the perimeter of the walkway is an informational plaque and four commemorative plaques, dedicated to the four Plainsboro residents who died in the attacks: Robert P. Devitt, Jr., Jeffrey Fox, James Edward Potorti, and Suresh Yanamadala.
Inscription: We remember September 11, 2001, “On a morning so indescribably beautiful that time stopped, terror came from the cloudless sky. In blinding flashes it ripped from our grasp our family, our friends, our colleagues, and our innocence. Our pain was beyond bearing. The senselessness immeasurable. Our grief incalculable. But even as the rubble smoldered, hope rose from the debris and ash. Our pain would lessen. Landmarks would be rebuilt. Life would continue. And though our losses would be forever, so would our memories.” — Bill Hart, We will never forget them.
Veterans Park. A memorial garden in the park contains a grove of evergreen trees, commemorative plaques, and a mounted piece of World Trade Center steel.
Inscription: “This grove of evergreen trees is dedicated as a place of reflection in the memory of four citizens of Hamilton. William Reed Bethke, Daniel Leonard Maher, Susan L. Schuler, Jeannine Damiani-Jones. They lost their lives in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center buildings in New York on September 11, 2001. This grove is also dedicated to those citizens of Hamilton who served in the volunteer efforts associated with the tragedy. May each person who pauses here remember their sacrifice and their spirit. Rededicated September 11, 2005, by the Hamilton Patriotic Committee.”
Alliger Park (also known as Woolsey Park), 221 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road.
Dedicated September 10, 2011, by Capital Health and the Hopewell Valley September 11th and Emergency Services Memorial Committee.
This memorial features a piece of World Trade Center steel held up by two columns, each molded in the shape of arms and hands. A concrete barrier, plants, and shrubbery outline the monument and are bounded by a brick walkway shaped like a ribbon loop. This walkway, known as the Walk of Heroes, consists of bricks engraved with the names of deceased local emergency responders and other commemorations. While the World Trade Center steel honors the victims of the World Trade Center site, the memorial also features two plaques dedicated to the victims of hijacked Flight 93 and at the Pentagon. Nine stone markers branch out from the brick walkway, and three flagpoles serve as the memorial’s backdrop.
Garden of Reflection, Memorial Park in Yardley.
This memorial garden comprises several elements, including a flagpole, a piece of World Trade Center set at an angle, and a Memorial Pathway. From the Memorial Pathway, the visitor is led to Remembrance Walk, a walkway lined with glass panels etched with the names of victims. Maple trees along the memorial’s berm represent Bucks County residents lost in the attacks, while 42 lights along the Spiral Walk represent 42 Pennsylvania children who lost a parent.
At the center of the Spiral Walk is a reflecting pool encircled by a railing with the names of the Bucks County victims etched in glass. From the center of the pool, adjacent twin fountains rise from square voids.
Dedicated September 30, 2006, to the memory of the 18 Bucks County residents and all of the victims who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Inscription: “On September 11, 2001 our nation lost 2,973 people in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Virginia, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Honor them. Celebrate their lives. Remember them always. God Bless them.
Abrams Hebrew Academy, 31 West College Avenue, Yardley.
This memorial garden and commemorative plaque are located in front of Abrams Hebrew Academy in Yardley, and pay tribute to alumnus Joshua Scott Reiss.
Inscription: “In loving memory of our shining star, Joshua Scott Reiss, March 9, 1978 – September 11, 2001, Adored son, brother, grandson & friend, Forever you will be in our hearts.”
Grove of Remembrance, Liberty State Park. Dedicated April 21, 2003, by the New Jersey Tree Foundation.
Inscription: “Grove of Remembrance, A Living Memorial dedicated to the New Jersey residents who perished on September 11, 2011. May the trees planted here offer a peaceful place to reflect and heal.”
More than 750 trees have been planted in Liberty State Park as a living memorial to New Jersey residents who died in the attacks. This grove is located in an area of the park that features views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. A commemorative plaque lists the names of all New Jersey victims.
Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. Dedicated September 12, 2004, by Stanley Paszul.
Inscription: “9.11.01, United States of America, Never forget! Pray for all the innocent victims and heroes who died in the terrorist attack on America, September 11, 2001, donated by S. Paszul.”
Affixed to the base of the Katyn Memorial on the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, this commemorative plaque features a bas-relief of the Czarna Madonna embracing the Twin Towers.
A similar bas-relief is located on the exterior wall of Saint Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Roman Catholic Church in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.