Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of September 11 in Upper Manhattan

Maggie Barrows
September 10, 2021

While the memory of what happened downtown on September 11th will always be with many people across the city, the country, and the world, there are a number of commemorations happening uptown for the 20th anniversary of the attacks. A selection of the options for acknowledging the day are below, including ceremonies, temporary memorials, and permanent art installations.

Ocufluent I & II at Riverside Park — Through September 15, 2021

Ocufluent I & II by artist WOOLPUNK® (pictured above) uses flowers stitched onto photos of the World Trade Center Oculus to represent the loss that occurred on 9/11, the lingering pain and grief for many, and a sense of rebirth. The images honor the victims of the tragedy and all those who are still affected. 

The installation is at Riverside Drive and West 97th Street in Riverside Park. It is part of the Riverside Park Conservancy’s RE:GROWTH, A Celebration of Art, Riverside Park, and the New York Spirit

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine — Permanent Installation

A sculpture of a woman with her hands up as planes fly into them.

Meredith Bergmann’s sculpture September 11th: A Memorial for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine uses the figure of a woman, absorbing the shock and wounded but alive, as an allegorical representation of the aftermath of the attack. The sculpture rests on a pedestal that contains pieces of the Twin Towers that were brought to the church in 2001.

There is also a memorial to firemen in the church (in the Labor Bay) that was dedicated in 1976.

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is open to the public for visits from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM on weekdays, from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturdays, and from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Sundays. Admission is $5. Timed-entry tickets are available online.

Firemen’s Memorial in Riverside Park — September 11, 2021

A large stone and metal memorial with a brick apartment building behind it.

Dedicated on September 5, 1913, the Firemen’s Memorial in Riverside Park honors firefighters who have died in the line of duty. Since 9/11, this memorial has become a particularly poignant vigil site and shrine for those in mourning.

The memorial is located at West 100th Street and Riverside Drive. This year’s ceremony will begin at 10:00 AM. 

9/11 Memorial Gathering at Fort Tryon Park — September 11, 2021

From 6:00 to 7:30 PM on Saturday, September 11, the Fort Tryon Park Trust, the NYPD, FDNY, Northern Manhattan Parks, and Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance will hold a community gathering commemorating the 20th anniversary of September 11th. The event will include remembrances, music, a poetry reading, and an interactive memorial installation by artist Marta Blair.

The gathering will be held on the Cloisters Lawn.

The Way We Remember at the Wallach Art Gallery — September 10-November 14, 2021

Left: a piece of round metal art in a pile of building wreckage. Right: the same art displayed on a pedestal surrounded by American flags.

Through the lens of sculptor Fritz Koenig’s Great Caryatid Sphere, which became one of the earliest memorials of 9/11 after it emerged from the rubble of the collapsed Twin Towers, this exhibition examines memory and the commemoration of tragedies through art. In addition to Koenig’s Sphere, The Way We Remember uses the World Trade Center memorial project, World War II memorials, various memorials on Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus, and COVID-19 to investigate this topic.

The Wallach Art Gallery is open to the public with a reservation on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 6:00 PM.