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The Timeline

Empty Sky Memorial 2021

Empty Sky Memorial Remembrance Ceremony on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of those lost on September 11th 2001.

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September 11, 2016
Commemorating the 15th Anniversary of the Sept. 11th 2001 attacks.

September 10, 2011

Empty Sky dedicated. Over 3,000 people on attendance.

April 2008

The New Jersey 9/11 Memorial Foundation is formed for the charitable purpose of raising funds to: (i) construct “Empty Sky”, a memorial dedicated to New Jersey residents who were killed during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which is to be owned and operated by the State of New Jersey on land that the state owns; (ii) conduct programs or other events related to the memorial; and (iii) create a fund which will be used by the State of New Jersey for the maintenance of the memorial and the surrounding grounds.

September 10, 2004

Groundbreaking for the “Empty Sky” Memorial takes place at Liberty State Park and is attended by more than 350 family members as well as the Governor, members of the NJ Legislature and numerous members of the press and media.

June 2004

“Empty Sky” is unanimously adopted as the winning design for New Jersey’s Memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

June 2004

Stage Two Finalists submit final Memorial designs and present designs to Family & Survivor Committee Members

May 2004

Proposals reviewed by professional jury and announcement of Stage Two design finalists.

April 30, 2004

Memorial design proposal submission deadline – Stage One. Three hundred and twenty qualified proposals were received by the deadline.

April 5, 2004

All submitted written questions answered and posted on Memorial RFP website.

March 19, 2004

Deadline for written questions to be submitted by design competitors.

February – March 2004

Mandatory Site Orientation Meetings for all registered Memorial design competitors.

March 1, 2004

Registration for Memorial design competition closes.

December 8, 2003

Updated Request for Proposal released to the public and registration for Memorial design competition submissions begins. The RFP included the requirement that a number of themes would be represented in the design proposals submitted including:

  • Recognition of each of the 746 New Jersey victims
  • Entire park area as a memorial – not just one small section
  • The use of the Lower Manhattan skyline as backdrop; some visual connection to the World Trade Center site An outside area of reflection
  • Something that specifically represents New Jersey, i.e., state flag, flower, etc.
  • Some reference to the existing grove of memorial trees
  • Symbolic or literal artifacts from each of the sites of the attacks
  • Provision for the public to make personal tributes perhaps through a multi-media/interactive component

August 2003

NJ Family Assistance Center mails newsletter to NJ Family members with plans for the observance of the 2nd anniversary of 9/11. The newsletter includes an update on the Memorial Referendum Proposal.

July 2003

Governor McGreevey announces creation of NJ 9/11 Memorial RFP website with complete details.

August 28, 2002

Governor James E. McGreevey issues Executive Order #29 establishing the New Jersey Family and Survivor Memorial Committee

October 3, 2001

Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco issues Executive Order #134 creating the New Jersey World Trade Center Victims Memorial Commission.