The terror attacks on September 11, 2001, sent shockwaves around the world, not only impacting the future of the United States but also reshaping the way the world saw and addressed terrorism. It was a life-changing event that has been remembered across the globe, and thus, several monuments and memorials commemorate this day and encapsulate the tragedy of this event.
In 2006, Russia gifted a sculpture to the United States known as the “Teardrop Memorial” or “The Struggle Against World Terrorism.” It is a 10–story sculpture that serves as a memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks. As shown in the image above, a twelve-meter-long stainless steel teardrop is suspended in a 175-ton bronze-clad tower. The sculpture was created by the Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli, where he imagined the image of the monument after seeing the description of the World Trade Center on Moscow television.
The artist, Tserteli, is one of the most prominent artists in Russia, a designer, architect, and sculptor known for capturing critical historical events in large sculptures, with his monuments on display in museums and public spaces in Europe, Syria, Isreal, Uruguay, and the United States. He explained what inspired the construction of the monument: after the attacks, he saw a group of Myscovited crying in front of the U.S. embassy in Russia, and so he started to work on the monument the next day.
The monument was entirely designed and built in Russia and was transported to the U.S. to be assembled in Harbor View Park at Bayonne Harbor, New Jersey. For the dedication ceremony on the 5th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2006, former President Bill Clinton, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Senator Robert Menendez, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and several family members of the 9/11 victims. Bill Clinton thanked the artist for “capturing the remarkable feelings that go beyond words” at the ceremony.
Today, the sculpture serves as one of many odes to the victims of terrorism, yet it also symbolizes something greater—American and Russian unity in the face of tragedy. It proves that while the U.S. and Russia may be at odds on several contentious issues, they are still united by a mutual desire to work together for peace.