Date: Sep 22, 2005
Press Release Number: 106-2005
The Port Authority – which lost 84 employees in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and four others in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – will provide $3 million toward construction of the Tribute Center, a temporary memorial near the World Trade Center site that will provide visitors with tours and information about the February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
The idea for the center was developed by the non-profit September 11 Widows’ and Victims’ Families Association Inc., as a way to assist the thousands of people who visit the World Trade Center site each year. The association was created by family members of the victims of the February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “The legacy of September 11, 2001, is one that will live on for generations to come. There are hundreds of stories about the heroes who lost their lives that fateful day, and those who performed herculean tasks to save as many people as possible. The Tribute Center will ensure that those who travel to New York from around the world will be able to hear first-hand these incredible stories about 9/11.”
Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey said, “Hundreds of people from all over the globe visit the World Trade Center site each day searching for information and answers to questions about what happened on 9/11. It is our duty to make sure we provide them with the accurate facts about the unspeakable horrors and the selfless acts of heroism that occurred there, so that they can truly understand the magnitude of what happened.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “We are honored to be part of this project, which will provide the Port Authority with a significant presence at a site that this agency called home for more than 30 years. Our contribution will help to support this worthwhile endeavor, which will serve as a valuable resource for visitors to learn about September 11 and to reflect on the evil tragedy that will be forever etched in our minds.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “This center will serve as a temporary setting to remember loved ones lost and to reflect on the events of September 11 and the heroic rescue and recovery efforts that followed. It will bridge the gap while we build a permanent memorial on the site that will serve as a fitting and lasting tribute.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “While we begin construction of the permanent World Trade Center Transportation Hub and other components of the site, we must never forget our 88 colleagues who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11 and on February 26, 1993, and the role of the Port Authority in the rescue and recovery operations from those incidents. This center will give us a means to tell our compelling stories to the world while the rebuilding efforts are under way.”
Tribute Center President Sally Yerkovich said, “Because of its losses on September 11, the Port Authority has a unique understanding of the impact of that day’s events on the city and on the region. They see how critical it is to ensure that visitors to the World Trade Center site have accurate information. We are pleased that they have chosen to be a part of the Tribute Center – helping us ensure that the center appropriately memorializes all those who were lost and pays tribute to the incredible outpouring of help that followed.”
The association has begun to renovate a 6,000-square-foot storefront at 120 Liberty Street, which will house the Tribute Center. The Tribute Center’s plans include a gallery, permanent and rotating exhibits, educational programs and walking tours. Its exhibits also will include the history and future of the World Trade Center.
Guided tours of the exterior perimeter of the World Trade Center site will begin in November. The center will open in the spring of 2006, and will be relocated to the permanent World Trade Center Memorial when it is completed.
As a sponsor, the Port Authority will become a founding partner in the center. The center’s Introductory/Orientation Gallery will be named for the Port Authority, and the agency will help develop the permanent exhibition space and create temporary exhibits highlighting elements of the site’s redevelopment.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.