Permanent memorial to 9/11 victims planned for Boston Public Garden
By JENNIFER PETER, Associated Press writer
BOSTON -- A small corner of the Boston Public Garden will become a memorial to the Massachusetts victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, city and state officials announced Monday.
The site, near the Newbury Street exit to the historic botanical gardens, will be designed in consultation with the 177 Massachusetts families who lost relatives in the attacks.
"Many of us have no place to put the emotions that we feel. We don't have a gravesite ... a place where we can visit our loved ones," said Christie Coombs, whose husband died on American Flight 11. "This memorial in such a beautiful place is going to allow us that."
The city of Boston has dedicated a portion of the Public Garden to the memorial, as well as $10,000 to start the project's design. Extensive fund-raising will be necessary to complete the project, which is estimated to take a year and a half.
"Today we take the first steps toward making this place a place of peace and remembrance," said Boston Mayor Tom Menino. He said the memorial garden will be a place where "the brave men and women from Massachusetts who lost their lives on Sept. 11 will be remembered and honored for all time."
U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, who helped organize the memorial with members of the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, and U.S. Sen. John Kerry were on hand for the announcement.
On Sept. 11, 93 Massachusetts residents died, mainly on the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. In total, 177 Massachusetts families lost loved ones in the attacks.
The permanent memorial will be the first for the Public Garden, which was the nation's first public botanical garden. It will be built at place in the garden where there is now a stone walkway circling a large tree.
On the nearby Boston Common, there is a Boston Massacre memorial and a Soldiers and Sailors Monument, a Civil War Memorial.
Officials and victims' families said the new memorial in the heart of Boston proves that something good can emerge from tragic circumstances.
"These families will be able to come here and spend a few moments and know that all of us are with them," Kennedy said. "They will know that they will be forever remembered. They will have this place for the future of time."