Not many people know that London has a permanent memorial to the victims of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre, opened on September 11 2003.
Situated on Grosvenor Square opposite the US Embassy, the September 11 Memorial Garden has a Grecian-style lodge at its centre, and under the canopy has three bronze plaques which carry the names of the 67 British citizens who died in the Twin Towers. Below that is a girder fragment from the World Trade Centre preserved in resin, and lying in front of the lodge is a memorial stone which carries a few lines from a poem by American poet Henry Van Dyke, which reads:
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love time is eternity.”
The surrounding plantings are looking a bit sorry for themselves right now but that’s unsurprising given the cold weather that we’ve had recently, but an information board at the side of the monument indicates that it is planted with a mixture of British and American species which copy the posy which was presented to the Queen at the memorial service to September 11 held at Westminster Abbey – rosemary, ivy, lily, phlox, coneflower and white rose ‘Sally Holmes‘.
Perhaps when you’re passing through Grosvenor Square you might want to linger and pay your respects. There are also many other monuments and tributes to US heroes around the Square – it always feels to me like a little piece of the United States transplanted to London…
[box]Just as a final aside, there was another memorial – a sculpture made from three girders salvaged from the World Trade Centre which appeared in Battersea Park in September of last year. However, after a month it was unceremoniously removed and hasn’t been seen since – does anyone know what became of it?[/box]