On Wednesday, two groups on opposite sides of the issue of the New Jersey 9/11 memorial proposed for construction in Liberty State Park in Jersey City were in the park to voice their positions.
Members of the Friends of Liberty State Park (FOLSP) gathered near the former site of the park's Public Plaza, where the state proposes to build "Empty Sky,” the 9/11 memorial. The memorial includes two steel walls, 30 ft. high and 200 ft. long, to be inserted into a hill. The memorial will also have the names of 744 New Jersey residents who died on 9/11.
The FOLSP is currently engaged in a lawsuit to put a halt to the memorial project at that site. The FOLSP have complained for several years that the hill and walls block panoramic NYC skyline views, and call for the memorial to be relocated after public hearings, preferably near the existing 9/11 memorial in the park, the 750-tree Grove of Remembrance.
The FOLSP was also protesting the Governor’s spending another $700,000 on site preparation work to create the hill. Construction equipment was in operation while the protest was taking place.
About 100 feet away from the FOLSP were several members of the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial Foundation, who have been raising money for the memorial. The memorial has estimated cost of upwards of $22 million because of the cost of the steel to be used for the memorial. The state of the New Jersey and the Port Authority has contributed about $13 million with the foundation having to raise the rest of the money.
The members of the Memorial Foundation were adamant that the memorial should be built on the site chosen, disagreed with the FOLSP that the proposed memorial would block any views and want to see the memorial completed by Sept 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of 9/11. - Ricardo Kaulessar