The tragic events of the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11th, 2001 left a deep scar on the American psyche. With time, this scar has begun to heal, aided through the efforts of those who established the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The memorial and museum was created by a group of dedicated individuals who were committed to ensuring that the memory of the event would not be lost to the passage of time. Among them was Paul J. Napoli, who witnessed the devastating attack first hand from his law office across from the World Trade Center. Since it’s opening, both the museum and memorial and Napoli’s law firm have shared a clear set of values and a defined mission.
Developing The Museum & Memorial
The process of creating a space like a museum or memorial is far more complicated than it appears, especially when it surrounds a sensitive topic like 9/11. However, many realized the necessity for spaces such as these almost immediately after the dust began to settle at ground zero. In 2003, an international design competition was held to select a design for a memorial that would honor the memories of those lost in the terrorist attack. More than 5,000 designs, with architects and designers from around the world submitting their ideas.
Ultimately, a design submitted by Michael Arad of Handel Architects would be selected. The New York and San Francisco-based firm worked with landscape architects from Peter Walker and Partners to design a space that included both natural and constructed elements. Of note are the two square reflecting pools, each more than an acre in size, that mark where the towers stood. Surrounding the pools is a grove of swamp white oak trees that provide greenery and shade to the memorial. The design was meant to convey a sense of renewal, hope, and perseverance. The memorial is also meant to serve as a place of quiet reflection and contemplation, in contrast to the busy city that surrounds it.
The museum, actually below the reflection pools, was the design of architect Davis Brody Bond. Bond worked with Arad and his architecture firm to ensure that the memorial and the museum would seamlessly fit with one another. Bond, a long time New York architect, worked on other notable and controversial museums like the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Georgia, and the Civil Rights Institute in Alabama.
Construction on the Memorial & Museum began in March of 2006. Over the course of the next five years, the site was excavated, the reflecting pools were constructed and tested, the museum was laid out and furnished with artifacts, and the white oak trees were planted. The site opened on September 12th, 2011, ten years and one day after the attack occurred.
Their Mission And Vision
More than just a reflection pool and collection of artifacts, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is dedicated to maintaining the memory and legacy of the nearly 3,000 people killed during the 9/11 attacks. The site also recognizes those who sacrificed much to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts after the attack. The discussion of terrorism, and its effects on the local, national, and international levels are a recurring theme throughout the museum, as the museum champions the idea that human dignity and compassion is ultimately more powerful than cruelty and malice.
This is a mission and vision that Napoli Shkolnik PLLC shares. Dedicated to helping families recover and grow after the loss of loved ones, their firm works to make the legal process an easy one. Thanks to their consistent and capable work, they help inspire clients to persevere in the face of adversity and loss.
After witnessing the collapse of the towers and the heroic actions of first responders and survivors, Paul J. Napoli knew that he had to find new ways to recognize and remember these individuals. Napoli was made the Co-Liaison Counsel by the United States District Court to represent more than 11,000 first responders that were left ill or injured during the rescue and recovery at the ground zero site. His work as a 9/11 attorney has earned his clients more than $812 million in settlements and aid. Along with other notable New York leaders, Napoli worked to get important legislation, like the Zadroga Act and Jimmy Nolan’s Law, passed, which further assisted injured workers and their families.
Thanks to his generous financial contributions to the construction of the memorial and museum and his work with victims and their families, Napoli has been named a board member of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. As a member of the board, Napoli is active in the work of the museum and memorial, routinely serving as a featured speaker. In 2016, Napoli lead a presentation about his experiences on September 11th, 2001, as well as the conditions that first responders faced that day. His presentation also covered the Zadroga Act, the struggles it faced in getting passed, as well as its effects on the lives of first responders. In addition to monetary donations, Napoli has also donated an archived set of documents that are related to his work with 9/11 responders and survivors to the museum.
As prominent 9/11 Attorneys in New York, the legal team at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC are ready to represent you and your needs. If you or a loved one is a survivor or first responder to the 9/11 attack and feel you are eligible for awards or treatment through the Zadroga Act, get a free case evaluation with the Napoli Shkolnik PLLC firm.