LondonLife – Remembering September 11

London, along with the rest of the world, will this week pause to remember 11th September, 2001, when nearly 3,000 people died after planes were flown into New York’s World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon (a fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania). In preparation for the 10th anniversary, London’s Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled a 10 metre high sculptural memorial, After 9/11, in Battersea Park which controversially uses steel girders from the towers in its design. But London already has a memorial to the events of 11th September. This is located in Grosvenor Square Garden, opposite the US Embassy. Opened on 11th September, 2003, the memorial features a pavilion which has three bronze plaques listing the name of UK citizens, UK Overseas Territories and people of dual nationality who lost their lives. The site was chosen partly on the basis that it was at the foot of the nearby Roosevelt Memorial that people laid flowers and lit candles in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. Plants at the memorial include white Bianca Roses which were among the flowers in the Queen’s bouquet laid at Westminster Abbey in a service held on 29th November, 2001, and were the roses that family members laid on the innocent victims memorial outside the abbey . In addition, more than 3,000 of the rose petals cascaded from the Whispering Gallery to the altar of St Paul’s Cathedral on the  first anniversary service.