After spending the better part of a year in various locations around the city, both sacred and secular, the Ribbons of Hope panels were on display at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church near ground zero for a month-long commemoration of the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
Originally created to commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, the Ribbons of Hope project was installed in Battery Park alongside the Gardens of Remembrance. New Yorkers and visitors alike were encouraged to bring their ribbons to Battery Park in lower Manhattan, thereby symbolically reversing the fear-filled path from lower Manhattan that was taken by so many New Yorkers a decade ago. There were also many ribbons and gracious volunteers on hand all weekend long to help include and assist passers-by in the activity.
People from all over the world participated: 9/11 family members and children who weren’t yet born a decade ago, Senior Citizens from Pennsylvania’s Amish country, a synagogue from El Paso, third graders from Budapest, farmers from Missouri, Buddhist monks from Japan and peace activists from Australia. One batch of ribbons came from Israel and Palestine and were written in English, Hebrew and Arabic.
In October, all twelve ribbon panels stood in silent vigil at the Jersey City Art Walk where hundreds more participated in this unique community art project. It was one of the few interactive exhibits in the Art Walk, engaging young and old alike. One participant, Timothy Herrick, said in his blog, “the simplicity of the concept was irresistibly endearing.” Indeed, that is what we have discovered time and again, which is why individuals and groups continue to express thoughts and prayers for peace and hopes for the future, joining 25,000 others in this growing expression of social healing.
One of the more fascinating conversations that emerged from the Jersey City Art Walk was the enthusiastic response from Bojana Coklyat, a visually impaired teacher of visually impaired children at Concordia Learning Center. She expressed enthusiasm for the project as something her students should “see.”
“They could touch the different textures, hear the way the ribbons blow in the wind, and those who can see color but not detail could experience the vibrancy of the ribbons. They would love this!”
Indeed, seeing what is unseen is integral to our work here at Intersections. Ribbons of Hope is a great example of this. Stay tuned for more locations in the future.