September 11 Memorial Design

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

Design To Honor Sept. 11 Rescue, Recovery Workers Unveiled

May 30, 2018 - 1:51 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- For the first time since it was built, there is a design change planned at the 9/11 memorial.

The memorial is designed to honor the nearly 3,000 who were killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks and the victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Plans were unveiled Wednesday for a new space in the plaza to pay tribute to responders and others who were sickened in the aftermath of the terror attacks.

A pathway flanked by six stones meant to symbolize strength and determination will be added to the memorial site in Lower Manhattan to honor the rescue and recovery workers who toiled for months at ground zero.

"This dedicated space will remind all who come here how the best of our human nature responded to the worst," museum president Alice Greenwald said.

"Hopefully this will become a place of solace and a place of belonging and a place of gathering," said comedian Jon Stewart, who is a fierce advocate for the responders. "What the first responders, what the trade units, what the volunteers, what the survivors did for this city can't be repaid."

Sonia Agron volunteered at ground zero and developed a rare form of cancer. Her husband who was a city cop also has cancer.

"This will bring me peace. I don't know, it' just makes me feel like we're not forgotten because we have been forgotten," Agron said. "One day that memorial will be in my husband's honor and mine."

"It means a lot to us to have their family members to be able to come down and commemorate their lives and what they did and what they meant to the recovery efforts here," said Michael O'Connell, a retired fire lieutenant who developed an auto-immune disease. He was a 25-year-old rookie on 9/11.

"These men and women, uniform and non-uniform from all over the country came to new york and they risked their lives without prejudice and that story needs to be told," said John Feal, a 9/11 responder and advocate.  "I hope they're proud that they're not forgotten."

He says the suffering hasn't stopped.

"People are sick. People are dying from their heroic actions," Feal said. 

The new space will be built at the southwest corner of the site.

It will be created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, the original designers of the 9/11 memorial and plaza.