On April 20, Weehawken, NJ Mayor Richard F. Turner reminded a crowd of more than 100 people who gathered at the Port Imperial waterfront why Weehawken will forever be linked to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Five of the victims from that day were Weehawken residents, but also, Weehawken was a place where people bravely banded together to help more than 60,000 victims in the face of a crisis.
“We will remember this site as a place where people helped people,” Mayor Turner said.
Mayor Turner was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for Weehawken’s 9/11 memorial, which will be located near the public waterfront walkway at Port Imperial, on the banks of the Hudson River. The memorial is being constructed by Roseland Property Company, the Master Developer of Port Imperial, which also built the riverfront walkway as part of its public/private development partnership with the City of Weehawken. Mayor Turner joined Carl Goldberg, Partner at Roseland Property Company, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, representatives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other officials in driving the first shovels into the ground. Also on hand were members of the Weehawken Fire and Police Departments.
At the center of the ceremony were two artist’s renderings of the memorial depicting a circular pocket park with rows of trees, benches and waterfront views. The memorial will be at the center of the park.
An infinity pool will hold steel spires that were salvaged from the World Trade Center site and donated to Weehawken by the Port Authority. Two large pieces of the steel will be erected in the pool to form an arch reflective of the architectural element from the World Trade Center.
“The final design of this park was approved by Weehawken earlier this year, and we felt it would be very meaningful to have actual steel from the World Trade Center included in the memorial,” Mr. Goldberg said. “The park will include passive recreation space where people will be able to sit and remember what none of us have the luxury of forgetting, the events that occurred on that fateful day of Sept. 11.”
The memorial will be completed and opened for viewing on Sept. 11, 2011 – the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. The memorial is part of a larger effort by Roseland and the municipalities of Weehawken, West New York and Guttenberg to build an easily-accessible public waterfront walkway along Port Imperial’s two miles of riverfront property.
“This entire process of the public-private partnership between Weehawken and Roseland Property Company has been exemplary,” Mayor Turner said. “We were able to get these facilities for our residents because we are working with a developer who understands that it is important to give back to the community.”
For more information on Port Imperial, visit Roseland Property Company’s website: www.roselandproperty.com.