Thank you National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Jon Stewart for working to create a memorial to 911 responders & survivors made ill or who have died from exposure to toxins at Ground Zero.

Below is the press release from today’s announcement.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


The Design Concept Recognizes Ground Zero Rescue and Recovery Workers and All Who Are Sick or Who Have Died from Exposure to World Trade Center Toxins

9/11 Health Advocate Jon Stewart Helps Lead Fundraising Effort

(New York) May 30, 2018 – The conceptual design for the historic evolution of the 9/11 Memorial that honors those who are sick or have died from exposure to World Trade Center toxins was unveiled today on the 16th anniversary of the formal end of rescue and recovery operations at Ground Zero, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced.

The new dedicated space, which will be integrated into the Memorial plaza, also recognizes the tremendous capacity of the human spirit, as exemplified during the rescue and recovery efforts that lasted for nine months after the 9/11 attacks.

The design includes a pathway that will be part of a grassy area called the Memorial Glade, occupying the southwest side of the plaza, just west of the Survivor Tree. The location of this new path is roughly where the primary ramp used during the rescue and recovery effort once stood.

The path will be flanked by a series of large stone elements pointed skyward that are worn, but not beaten, symbolizing strength and determination through adversity. An inscription, anticipated to incorporate World Trade Center steel, will be developed to complement the physical design.

View the design renderings.

“Everyone who is suffering or who has died after the World Trade Center attacks will be honored at the 9/11 Memorial, alongside the innocent people killed that horrific day,” said 9/11 Memorial Board Chairman Michael R. Bloomberg, who while mayor of New York established a task force to develop the city’s first plan to manage 9/11 health issues. “Evolving the Memorial to integrate this dedicated space is part of this institution’s obligation to preserve the history of 9/11 and its continued impact on all of us.”

“The impacts of the 9/11 attacks did not end when the site was cleared, nor when the Memorial and Museum were built,” said Alice M. Greenwald, 9/11 Memorial & Museum President and CEO. “Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have been exposed to toxins at the World Trade Center site, both on the day of 9/11 and during the months of recovery operations that followed. As a result, many now suffer from life-threatening diseases; far too many have already died. We at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum are committed to commemorating those lives and to building greater awareness about this unabating health crisis. By integrating this meaningful public space at the Memorial, we seek to recognize all those for whom 9/11 has remained an all too present reality.”

Former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, who has advocated for 9/11-health benefits, is helping to lead a major fundraising effort, including serving as chair of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum 5K Run/Walk and Community Day. Next year, all proceeds from the annual event, which is presented by RXR, will support construction. Also, New York State, through its affiliates, the Building Trades Unions and Bloomberg Philanthropies will provide support and funding for the new element to be integrated as part of the Memorial Glade. Click here for more information or to donate.

“These men and women sacrificed themselves for the rest of us and have spent years suffering and dying because of it. We have long owed it to them to honor their contributions,” said Stewart, who serves on the 9/11 Memorial Board of Directors. “It’s also important for us to recognize the folks who have died or are suffering who were exposed to World Trade Center toxins while working in lower Manhattan or called the community their home. Today, this is happening at the most meaningful and appropriate place in a powerful way.”

“So many 9/11 responders feel forgotten and this historic modification to the 9/11 Memorial shows that we have not,” said FealGood President John Feal, a 9/11 responder who lost part of his foot during the recovery. “This dedication will introduce a powerful story of sacrifice and resilience that is completed in the Museum to millions of people around the world. I look forward to the development of this design.”

“Over the last few months I have had the honor of meeting with and hearing from the men and women who have grown ill or lost loved ones in the aftermath of the attacks on this site. I am in awe of them and feel privileged and humbled to be involved in the effort to recognize their losses and highlight their selfless character and enormous sacrifice,” said architect Michael Arad, who with Peter Walker designed the space. “It is a sacred obligation to create this new memorial space dedicated to them, one that tells their story to the millions of visitors who come to this site.”

Arad and Walker are the original designers of the 9/11 Memorial.

“The courageous men and women who worked tirelessly during the nine-month rescue and recovery operation at the World Trade Center site are an important part of the 9/11 story and deserve our gratitude for their service,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We applaud the 9/11 Memorial for designing elements into the Memorial plaza that will give these individuals the recognition they truly deserve.”

“As a recovery worker and the wife of a first responder, it gives me a sense of peace to know that there will be a place dedicated to honoring our story,” said Sonia Agron, who is a 9/11 Memorial Museum docent and took part in the recovery effort. “We cannot get back what 9/11 took from us, but to know we will have a place of honor on the Memorial to call our own is deeply meaningful.”

Agron’s husband, retired NYPD officer Jose Agron, responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11 and has since developed pulmonary fibrosis and bladder cancer. Sonia Agron, who has lost a kidney to cancer and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and gastroesophageal reflux disease, is part of a group providing advice and feedback to help guide the design process at the 9/11 Memorial.

Representatives for Congressman Jerrold Nadler, retired FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, 9/11 Health Watch Executive Director Ben Chevat, retired Port Authority Police Department Lt. William Keegan and others also joined 9/11-health advocates and providers, 9/11 family members, first responders, lower Manhattan residents, rescuers and recovery workers in providing guidance as part of the design process. This group will continue to provide insight and feedback as the inscription for the dedicated space is developed.

The design was unveiled before the 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s annual commemoration honoring the men and women of the nine-month rescue and recovery effort that formally ended on May 30, 2002. Click here for more information about the dedicated programs and commemorative activities recognizing the 16th anniversary.


The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the nonprofit organization that oversees operations for the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum. Located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site, the Memorial and Museum remember and honor the 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The Memorial plaza design consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers surrounded by swamp white oak trees. The Museum displays more than 900 personal and monumental objects while its collection includes more than 60,000 items that present intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery linked to the events of 9/11 and the aftermath. The Museum also explores the global impact of 9/11 and its continuing significance through education programs, public programs, live talks and film features that cover contemporary topics designed for diverse audiences. For more information or to reserve a ticket to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, please visit