I discovered this memorial a few weekends ago after getting off the Staten Island Ferry and walking on the North Shore Waterfront Esplanade (adjacent to the Ferry Terminal and the Richmond County Ballpark). I was touched by its beauty, its lightness and simple elegance. Most memorials are usually a bit cold and austere. I thought this one was so powerful. If you stand in the middle, the two wings frame a perfect view of Lower Manhattan.
There's a plaque nearby and this is what it reads:
The Staten Island September 11 Memorial honors members of the Staten Island community who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. These include Staten Island's commuters who made up a significant portion of the World Trade Center workforce, uninformed personnel who joined the rescue effort, and one passenger from Flight 93 who was lost in Pennsylvania. Additionally, one Staten Islander who was lost in the February 26, 1993 attack on the World Trade Center is honored.
The concept for the memorial design is a symbolic portrayal of personal messages being sent. These two walls, which frame the view of Lower Manhattan, represent giant folded postcards reaching out across the harbor - their messages carried by the wind. Throughout American history, distinctive members of our society have been honored through the issuance of commemorative postage stamps to their likenesses, often in profile. The memorial granite walls feature 270 profiles of the Staten Islanders who lost their lives in the World Trade Center. Individually carved to represent their likeness and marked with their name, birth date and place of work on September 11, 2001.
From its author, architect Masayuki Sono:
“The concept for this memorial came from a desire to create something that would connect us all to the victims of this tragedy. I chose the symbol of the postcard because we all write to people we remember and miss. Set on the axis that frames the view towards the World Trade Center site, the memorial seeks to restore the tie between the community and its loss. At the same time it symbolizes hope for the future and the spirit of freedom.”
For alternate views, including close ups and gorgeous night shots, I highly recommend this page: http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com.