Arkansas 9/11 Memorial
The Arkansas 9/11 Memorial is not a monument that is intended to be looked at and admired from afar. It is designed to be touched, walked under, stood within, and experienced from multiple vantage points. It is meant to tell a story, and physically represents the memory of the tragic events that unfolded as our nation was attacked on September 11, 2001. Its stoic simplicity silently reminds the viewer of the strength and seriousness of our nation’s promise that we will not forget the fallen loved ones, friends, and neighbors who died that day.
The floor plan of the monument area is organized into four distinct zones. At one end of the bar lies a piece of twisted steel that was recovered from World Trade Center Tower 1, which rests under the open sky atop a low granite pedestal. It is placed to be touched by children and adults alike and serves as a tactile, physical artifact of the destructive power that rocked our nation and took thousands of lives.
A second section of the monument is enclosed with two granite walls and a granite ceiling, and stands in memory of the four Arkansans who died on September 11. Covering this section provides a sense of enclosure, and alludes to our state protecting the memory, specially, of our own fallen loved ones. Each Arkansan’s name will be listed on the granite wall, along with their birthplace and the event that took their life. An opening in the opposite wall of this second piece faces toward the northeast, framing and directing the viewer’s vision back towards Manhattan, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania -- where these four individuals spent their last minutes. The monument plan is angled to allow for the directional view within the second section, creating an interesting and subtle rotation that contrasts with the highly ordered, axial campus layout. The monument stands out as something purposefully different and special in its highly ordered site.
The third monument component is a solitary granite slab, standing as a storyboard with text, quotes, and information about the September 11 attacks. The last piece of the monument is a solitary flagpole, opposite to the twisting steel -- a unifying anchor representing the oneness of our nation’s people during this time of tragedy.
The monument is located on the grounds of the El Dorado Conference Center, 311 S. West Ave, on the corner of Locust and West.