The Arizona 9/11 Memorial Commission sought a living memorial that would provide a place for thought-provoking dialogue; a place to reflect on our evolving understandings of the events of 9/11 and their significance; a place to rekindle the unified energy with which we met the challenges after the attacks; and a place to ponder the mystery, magnitude, and impact of change.
Stainless steel panels cast changing sunlight through 54 laser cut inscriptions onto a concrete base below. Phrases were placed to reflect the stratified emotional, political, and psychological sentiments that Arizonans grappled with following the tragic event. As the sun moves, words appear as pixels of light and become legible for a time, and then blur again.
The center of the steel ‘visor’ is an open circle symbolizing unity. A view of a busy flight path shows the weapons used on 9/11. The ‘visor’ tilts and becomes a shade canopy over concrete seating on the north side. There, a salvaged steel fragment from Ground Zero is placed above a pedestal of concrete mixed with rubble from the Pentagon and earth from Shanksville, Pennsylvania. At noon each 9/11, sunlight shines onto the center of the steel fragment, honoring those lost.