Tuesday, September 11, 2012

remembering 9/11, remembering friends

[Image from Local Projects]

Memorials are a tricky thing to design. To capture a moment and all the lives involved in a way that will resonate for generations is no simple feat. With her design for the Vietnam War Memorial, famously done as a college student, Maya Lin changed memorial design. I remember visiting it in high school. I stopped by several monuments and memorials, without making much of a connection, until my group arrived at the Vietnam Memorial.

[Image from Local Projects]

Today on the 11th Anniversary of 9/11, I want to reflect on another memorial. For the Ground Zero memorial, the Local Project continued Lin's legacy of putting the individual people lost at the center of their design, while updating the ordering system to account both for technology and for the personalities behind each name.  Maya Lin listed the fallen soldiers by the year of their death and then alphabetically. New York based media design firm Local Projects collected 1,800 requests from families of the 9/11 victims and worked out an algorithm to list them with their friends. Groups of firefighters listed together, police officers, members of each plane, office mates and friends. Even strangers who met trapped in the tower and were each other's comfort. A website, names.911memorial.org, was created to aid in finding names at the memorial.

When we remember the people we've loved, we want to remember them as they were. This is why we write inscriptions on headstones. Local Projects ensured that generations from now the victims of 9/11 will not be merely names but people.

1 comment:

blue roses said...

i first visited ground zero very briefly a number of years ago.... i really look forward to seeing the memorial, its beauty, its celebration of humanity.