When the local government of Jersey City was offered a September 11th memorial by Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, they graciously accepted it as a gift of friendship between former enemies. But when they saw the sculpture, officially called “To the Struggle Against World Terrorism,” they were so horrified that they tried to give it back. Eventually, it ended up at the Peninsula on Bayonne Harbor, where it was dedicated at a ceremony featuring Bill Clinton five years to the day after the attacks.
The sculpture, which reports suggest may have cost as much as $12 million, is a thirty-meter tower of steel with a jagged gash through the center. Inside the gash sits a twelve-meter high stainless steel tear drop. It received a largely negative reception, with one survivor of the attacks referring to it as “a cross between a scar and a female sexual organ.”
In 2010, the site the monument stands on was sold and it is likely to be moved to make way for larger port facilities. Although a popular decision in some circles, a petition is circulating calling for the monument to stay in its original place. But regardless of where it eventually ends up, it remains to be seen if the monument will find a place in the hearts of New Jerseyites.
Know Before You Go
Take New Jersey Turnpike to Exit 14A. Take the Ave. E exit. Drive south to 32nd St. and turn left at the light onto Hwy 440/169 South. Turn left at the light onto Port Terminal Blvd. Drive all the way to the end of the pier near the cruise ship terminal to the park.