I thank The Jersey City Reporter reporter, Ricardo Kaulessar (No "Friends" of state's 9/11 Memorial" on 7/30) for exposing the controversy about the Liberty State Park 9/11 Memorial Hill and Walls design, which is overwhelmingly condemned by those who use and love LSP. This monstrous, outrageous design obstructs the Ground Zero view that it was supposed to memorialize. This design separates instead of connects people to where the tragedy took place.
We ask Governor Corzine to listen to the public's opposition to this design that was chosen with no public input in a process set up by Governor McGreevey. The public has a democratic right to public input on a public memorial in a park behind Lady Liberty. This is not a private memorial on a private estate. NY and PA had public meetings. The NJDEP Commissioner's statement that there were public meetings is totally false as there were none at all. There were open design competition orientation meetings, but no public meetings after the "Jury", half of whom came from out of state, chose the six finalists.
The 10-foot high Hill blocks the sacred view of lower Manhattan that has been so spiritually essential and meaningful to those using the nearby recreational lawn and the now covered-over Terminal Plaza, and to those on the sidewalk and cobblestone road approaching this closest view of Ground Zero from this urban waterfront park.
People would be taking in this dramatic view that got more powerful, the closer one got to the river. That entire view, as many people have said for five years, was the best memorial to 9/11, seeing the empty skyline. People should not have to walk up or around a 10-foot Hill or walk through 200-foot long walls to see the view of lower NYC. This design fails to protect this historic American view for future generations.
Park users are also angry about the Hill blocking the view of the portion of the Hudson River which played an essential role in evacuating people to LSP on 9/11. Instead of a sensible low wall with NJ victims' names, the design has two stainless-steel Walls, 200 feet long and 30 feet high which block views up and down the river and are totally incompatible with the adjacent 1889 brick CRNNJ Terminal.
Because of the failure of the state to provide a public meeting, The Friends of LSP invite all New Jerseyans to our open public meeting by the Terminal Plaza Hill (inside if it rains) on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m. to express your view on the memorial design. Information is at www.folsp.org
We urge the Governor and victims' families to be patient and listen to the voice of park users who strongly feel that this design must be changed so LSP isn't severely harmed.
Sam Pesin, president of The Friends of Liberty State Park