Tessa Jowell Unveils Design For September 11 Memorial Garden In London

 

13 August 2002, Department of Media Culture and Sport

 

Design plans for a permanent memorial garden to those who lost their lives in the United States on 11 September 2001 were announced today by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell.

 

A planning application has been submitted to Westminster City Council for a memorial garden to be sited within Grosvenor Square Garden and near the American Embassy. The application has been made following consultations with the families of the UK victims and other interested parties.

 

Grosvenor Square Garden was the focus for many, including some of the families of those who lost their lives, in the aftermath of 11 September 2001.  It is bordered on its west side by the American Embassy, and has become known as ëThe American Squareí.

 

The design has been devised in conjunction with The Royal Parks and landscape architects, Land Use Consultants.  It will consist of an oval with two planting beds on one side and an oak pergola with a classic pavilion on the other. There will be Yorkstone paving and a stone centrepiece with an inscription remembering all victims. The garden will be surrounded by a yew hedge and steel railings. The whole is designed to sit comfortably in its surroundings.

 

Consultation continues with the families about detailed content and the composition of plants will draw on suggestions from the families and represent native North American and British plants. It will also include flowers incorporated in the posy presented to Her Majesty The Queen at the memorial service last November. For example, the planting may include lily of the valley, representing hope. Herbs, perennials and other foliage plants will also be included such as myrtle, signifying fruitfulness and the hope for the continuation of the family, rosemary for remembrance, lavender for its calming properties and ivy for fidelity.

 

Subject to planning approval, the memorial garden should be planted and ready in time for 11 September 2003.

 

Tessa Jowell said:

ì Our intention is to provide a garden that will be simple, dignified and designed to the highest quality. It will also allow for privacy and seclusion for visitors. The families affected have, of course, been consulted and the design draws on their suggestions.

ìIt is fitting that the garden should be complete in time for the second anniversary of this terrible tragedy.î

Speaking on behalf of the families Tom Clarke said:

ì The service at St. Pauls will make it possible for the hundreds of families
and friends of British victims to remember the ones they lost on September
11th last year. Many of them are unable to travel to New York for remembrance
services there, or feel more comfortable staying near to their family and
friends on this most tragic of anniversaries. As a group we are greatly indebted to Tessa Jowell and her staff for helping us to organise a service in such a high profile venue, the only venue we felt was appropriate for a tragedy of this enormity.î

 

Commenting on the permanent memorial, Mr Clarke said: ì We will all remember those we lost in our individual ways, but having a permanent, public memorial in central London will act as a focal point for us. While September 11th was a private tragedy for us, I know that it was one shared by the country as a whole, so it is only fitting that there should be a public memorial to it and to those who died. Given the nature of the tragedy, we thought it best that a peaceful garden, somewhere for quiet reflection away from the city's hustle and bustle, would be the most fitting.


The proposed location opposite the United States Embassy will also reflect the loss
our two countries shared on September 11th.î

 

St Paulís Cathedral have today announced (press release attached) details of a Service of Remembrance and Commemoration at St. Paulís Cathedral to mark the first anniversary on 11 September this year.

 

Notes for editors

 

Grosvenor Square Gardens are owned by the Grosvenor Estate and managed, on their behalf, by the Royal Parks Agency.

 

Pictures of Grosvenor Square Gardens;  a preliminary sketch for the design; and an architectural plan of the scheme are available on the DCMS website
 
Images of the preliminary sketch and the architectural plan can also be obtained free of charge via DCMSís Picselect, the Press Associationís publicity image service. Please go to the Department for Culture Media and Sport folder situated within the Corporate section of Picselect either at www.picselect.com or through the PA bulletin board.

 

An Operational Note about coverage of the memorial service will be issued shortly. Further information about the Service of Remembrance is available from Mark McVay, Head of Marketing and PR at St Paulís Cathedral on 020 7246 8314 or mark@stpaulscathedral.org.uk.

 

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