The little-known 9/11 memorial to kids in Central Park

Some 9/11 memorials 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 tablet affixed to the VA Hospital at East 23rd Street).

The plaque just steps away from the Hans Christian Andersen statue in Central Park belongs in the latter category. Embedded into the pavement, the simple bronze plaque honors the nearly 3,000 children who lost a parent in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

It’s a fitting spot to honor these 9/11 kids. The statue of the beloved Danish fairy tale author has been at 74th Street off of East Drive since 1955, when it was gifted to New York by the Danish American Women’s Association to commemorate Anderson’s 150th birthday, according to NYC Parks.

The climbable statue of Andersen reading The Ugly Ducking has always attracted kids, as does the model boat pond right nearby. One of the two Alice in Wonderland-themed statues in Central Park is steps away. So is Pilgrim Hill—a legendary sledding spot in the park from which the shouts of happy children can be heard after a snowfall. It’s a child-centered area close to the zoo and playgrounds.

“In Honor of the Children Who Lost Their Parents on 9/11,” reads the plaque, funded by the Stuart Frankel family. Stuart Frankel is the name of what’s described as “New York’s oldest independent brokerage firm on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.” A more personal connection between the company (or the family behind it) and the kids of 9/11 seems to be left a mystery.

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2 Responses to “The little-known 9/11 memorial to kids in Central Park”

  1. countrypaul Says:

    9/11 was tragic, stupid, and so unnecessary. Did the ultra-religious cranks who hijacked and crashed the planes think that they were going to convince anybody that their faith was best by doing that? I return to Edwin Starr: “War, what is a good for? Absolutely nothing!”

  2. beth Says:

    this is a wonderful and moving memorial that I never knew existed.

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