Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden
As with so many historic events in our nation’s great history, the tragic events that took place in our country on September 11, 2001, make it a day we shall never forget. The Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden pays tribute to those whose lives were lost on 9/11 and serves as a constant reminder of the heroism exhibited by fire and law enforcement personnel and first responders that day and on any ongoing basis.
At 8:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked and crashed a passenger jet, American Airlines Flight 11, into the North Tower of New York City’s World Trade Center. As live television coverage began, Americans watched in horror as a second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, slammed into the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. At 9:38 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 smashed into the Pentagon outside of the Nation’s capitol. A fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93 bound for Washington, D.C., crashed outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m.
Positioned above you is a historic steel artifact that once served as a structural member at the World Trade Center site. It is supported by a Pentagon shaped base and prominently looks out, ever vigilant, towards the symbolic Twin Towers and the field of greenery representing Shanksville.
Encased in the foundation of this memorial are copies of the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Gettysburg Address, and a piece of the aircraft from Flight 77 along with the Captain’s insignia wings.
The Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden serves to forever honor, respect, and remember the victims, rescuers, and heroes who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Discussions about a possible Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden were initiated in 2009 as Beverly Hills Fire Chief Tim Scranton announced the acquisition of a 30-foot floor beam pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. Soon after, the Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Committee, comprised of volunteers, was established to determine how best to utilize the artifact as the centerpiece for a memorial garden. A significant volunteer population, including community and service organizations and individual design professionals and contractors, emerged, and a plan was developed for a memorial garden that would incorporate balance, harmony, flow and a deep respect for the events of 9/11.
The structural steel beam from the Twin Towers (folded in half from the destruction of the day and now standing nearly 18 feet tall) serves as the focal point for the garden space and is encircled by substantial curved granite benches, allowing for contemplation and remembrance. The artifact is surrounded by a raised pentagonal planter with the names of all 2,977 lives lost etched onto stainless steel plaques within the surround of the planter. The garden includes two stone replicas of the Twin Towers and integrates six stone column water features representing life and hope for the future. Adjacent to the monument, a flagpole flies our nation's colors, and a walking path traverses the memorial site. Thoughtful attention was also given to landscaping and lighting for the memorial, ensuring its visibility, day or night.
On September 11, 2011, in honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and in a moving tribute to those who lives were lost, Beverly Hills firefighters, police officers, City staff and elected officials and the general public gathered to remember at the unveiling of this stunning garden. The memorial garden serves to honor all those who were lost, those devoted to keeping America safe and those who believe all are created equal and entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden is located on the grounds of the Beverly Hills Fire Department at 445 North Rexford Drive in Beverly Hills (northwest corner of Rexford and South Santa Monica Blvd.). The Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden Committee proudly notes that NO City funds were used to create or construct the site. Continued donations are needed, however, to maintain the site long-term and provide proper care for the Twin Towers artifact, ensuring its longevity.