Did you know...

...how Jerusalem remembers 9/11?

June 20, 2019 13:40
1 minute read.
Did you know...

THE 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza, a cenotaph located on a hill in the Ramot neighborhood.. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Almost everyone knows about 9/11, but who has heard about the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza in Jerusalem? I recently learned about this site when I was looking for special places to take my 21-year old grandson, Roi Orzach when he was visiting me here.

The plaza was built to remember and honor the 2,983 victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It is the only memorial outside of the United States that lists all the names of the victims, including five who were Israeli citizens. As it is written at Yad Vashem, “unto every person there is a name.”

In the center of the crater-like plaza there is a 30-foot tall cenotaph, a monument in honor of a group of persons who are buried elsewhere. The monument, made of granite, bronze and aluminum, was designed by award-winning Israeli artist, Eliezer Weishoff. It is shaped in the form of an American flag, waving and then transforming into a flame. A metal shard from the ruins of New York’s Twin Towers is embedded in the base.

The memorial, established by KKL-JNF and JNF-USA, was dedicated in November 2009. Looking out over the plaza, which is located on a hill in the Arazim Valley, one is awed by the breathtaking view of Har HaMenuchot, Israel’s largest cemetery, and the newly built bridge for the high-speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train. One feels a convergence of past and present.

In 2018, a new plaque was added to the plaza in memory of the 11 victims of the Pittsburgh shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, planted an olive tree next to the plaque as a symbol of peace and continuity. It is, after all, a living memorial.

Though the site is off the beaten track, it is only a 10-minute drive from the Begin Highway in the northern part of the city. Unfortunately, the road is narrow and winding and there is no paved parking area. Still, it is worth making the effort. This unique memorial is a hidden gem.

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