Memorial dedicated at Boston airport

September 9, 2008 5:06:29 PM PDT
An island of peace amid the bustle of Logan International Airport was dedicated Tuesday to honor the 147 passengers and crew killed when terrorists flew two planes from here into New York City's World Trade Center. A $4 million glass memorial, surrounded by grass and ginkgo trees, sits atop a 2.5-acre knoll where two paths representing the flights converge. Inside the structure, visitors look up and see a fractured sky - an effect achieved with panes of glass hung at various angles from intersecting steel cables.

"It really describes that particular day, our lives were shattered in one minute," said Alicia Curran of North Smithfield, R.I., whose sister, Amy Jarret, was a flight attendant on United Flight 175.

Two 11-foot panels inside the memorial list the victims killed on Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11. After the dedication ceremony, their families and friends toured the memorial, shedding tears but also sharing happy memories.

Caroline Ogonowski, whose father, John, was the pilot of Flight 11, said the memorial struck her more as a place of beauty than one of grief.

"It's difficult, but it being seven years later I think I can look back on it and remember my father more with a smile and less with tears," she said. "I think this is a celebration of their lives."

Thomas Kinton, CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan and funded the memorial, said the attacks were a permanent part of the airport's culture, and workers and family members needed a permanent memorial to the enormous tragedy.

The two paths begin at the same "point of origin" before heading in different directions and winding up the hill.

From each path, the ginkgo trees become denser as the memorial gets closer, symbolizing how the community came together after the attacks, said Robert Linn of Moskow Linn Architects, which designed the memorial.

The glass cube is open on opposite corners. The first thing a visitor sees is the time each flight departed Logan, with the names of those lost listed on the other side of the panel.

A stone wall separates the memorial from the highway, but the memorial is not isolated from Logan. Rather, it sits amid pedestrian walkways, crisscrossing highways and descending planes.

Christie Coombs of Abington, whose husband, Jeff, was killed on Flight 11, said that visibility is important.

"I hope that as people are flying out of the city, they look down and they see it and they remember," she said.