The fading 9/11 Memorial under Union Square

Unionsquare9:11memorialhallwayInside the Union Square subway station, just past the small transit police precinct, is a long, sparsely populated corridor. At about the halfway mark is an understated wall of remembrance to the thousands of victims of the September 11 attacks.

It’s right out there in public along a wall of white tiles. As visible as it is, it’s also one of the quietest and most unassuming 9/11 memorials in the entire city.

Office-like paper labels have been affixed to the tiles, each with the typed name and hometown of one of the dead.


There’s no bronze plaque, no poetry, no pomp, no statues. Just names on tiles, some marked by poignant handwritten notes from loved ones.


It’s been up since 2002. “Erected this month by the Manhattan-based nonprofit group ArtAid, the memorial’s missives grow daily,” states a Daily News article from March 30 of that year, which noted that the MTA had no plans to take it down.


Time has taken its toll on the wall. Some of the labels have fallen off or otherwise disappeared, while others are fading out and hard to read.

Still, if you like your public memorials to be uncrowded and inconspicuous, or you remember how Union Square become kind of a gathering place for New Yorkers in the days after the towers fell, this is the place to be on September 11.

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6 Responses to “The fading 9/11 Memorial under Union Square”

  1. jmpod Says:

    I love walking by this. For me : It is indeed a very peaceful way to honor the victims.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Me too. It’s understated but powerful.

  3. Dave Says:

    Similar to the tiles on that fence down in the Village. I assume that’s still there, too.

  4. Walk About New York Says:

    Is it known if all 3,000+ names of those who died on 9|11 are included? This simple salute to those who lost their lives on that tragic day is part of Walk About New York’s Subway Art Tour.

  5. the understated 9/11 memorial few people know | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] in a city filled with sizable memorials and monuments commemorating the immense bravery and tragedy of 9/11, there’s something to be said for a small quiet plaque that sits off to the […]

  6. The little-known 9/11 memorial to kids in Central Park | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] around New York City are enormous monuments to the horrors of that early September day. Others are quiet and inconspicuous, occupying such small pockets of the cityscape that they tend to go overlooked (like this bronze […]

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