Amy Weisser, senior exhibit developer at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, spoke about metaphor (and the occasional lack thereof) at the former World Trade Center site as it is transformed into the site of the 9/11 memorial, Reflecting Absence and museum. Unlike other memorial museums, which are often built in neutral space, this museum is in a charged space - the emotional connections cannot be ignored.
The selection of the ~350 trees (primarily swamp white oaks) was made with the intent of projecting an impressive sense of longevity. The trees are being treated gingerly to prevent dead trees in the memorial. There is a ramp reminiscent of the temporary construction ramp that dominated the site for the last few years. There will be two tridents on site as a metaphor the Twin Towers. Timelines and narratives emerge as a way of ordering the experience and structuring it parallel to the events of 9/11. But, without intrusive interpretive materials, these symbols and experiences are offered on a basis of "whether you get it or not, it is there."
The design was initiated by Michael Arad who was later joined by Peter Walker. Halka has been preparing the trees for their trip to the City.