Shortly after the terrorists crashed civillian airliners into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and into the ground in Pennsylvannia, Zurab Tsereteli, a renouned Russian artist was deeply distressed. He wanted to build a memorial for all the innocent victims. With tears in his eyes his envisioned what the memorial would be. Tsereteli came to the US, visited Ground Zero, researched where his Memorial should be placed and finally began making arrangements for the location for his monument "to the struggle against world terrorism."
Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Bayonne, NJ on Sept. 15, 2005, meeting With the town's mayor he spoke of the Unity of our Countries. They discussed the plan's for the memorial the Russians were to dedicate the United States to honor the victims. Although no ground was broken that day the decision was made to place it in Harbor View Park, formerly the Military Ocean Terminal. The park overlooks Lower Manhattan, where the World Trade Centers once proudly stood.
Pres Putin said "This monument will always give vivid embodiment to our unity. Certainly, this is going to be a splendid memorial."
On September 11, 2006 the 'Tear Drop' memorial was dedicated by Tsereteli. The ceremony was attended by former President Bill Clinton, Gov Jon Corzine, Mayor Joseph Doria, Jr., survivors and family members of victims of 911 and many other dignitaries.
The monument stands 100 feet tall, there is a jagged tear in the middle, leaving an opening for the 4 ton, 40 foot tall, nickel plated tear drop to hang. The base is 11 sided and bears the names of the 2,973 victims of the 911 attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the crashed plane in Pennsylvannia. The artist also included the names of the 6 victims of the 1993 Trade Center Bombing.
The majestic Tear of Grief is attributed as gift from "Russian President Vladimir Putin, the people of Russia and the artist" to the people of the United States, in the spirit of France's gift of the Statue of Liberty.
The spectactular memorial is visible from Lower Manhatten, the Statute of Liberty, ships passing through New York Harbor, airplanes and the Staten Island Ferry. Visiting the memorial will be number one my next visit to New York.
I believe this to be a true gift of sincerety from the people of Russia. Not only did the artist refuse any money for his work, but the Russians paid for the building, shipping and assembly of the monument. It is a gesture that cries out to the world that we must join together to fight the terrorists of the world in unity.
I am an avid news watcher and like many others had never before heard of it, there was quite a ceremony, and the dedication was well publicized. Maybe due to the fact the ceremony was held on the 5th anniversary most of the media's attention was based on the memorial at Ground Zero.
Watch this great video about the monument.