Tear of Grief or the Tear Drop Memorial
In response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli was inspired to create a memorial as gift to the people of the United States. Originally entitled the "Tear Of Grief," this 100-foot bronze tower holds a nickel-clad "tear drop" meant to symbolize the sympathy and response of Russian citizens upon learning of the attack. Today, the sculpture is officially titled "To the Struggle Against World Terrorism." This extraordinary work was presented as a gift to the United States from the people of Russia and from its creator.
Backstory and Context
Mr. Tsereteli first envisioned the image of the "Tear Of Grief" on September 11, 2001 after watching the horrific collapse of the World Trade Center towers on Moscow television and then driving past a crowd of crying Muscovites in front of the US embassy nearby. He began the design of the "Tear Drop Memorial" on that very day.Zurab Tsereteli, was in his home in Moscow on the morning of September 11th. The television was on as he was getting ready for work and Zurab, like the rest of the world, was glued to coverage of the attacks on the Twin Towers. He watched the towers collapse on TV and was moved to tears.
Later that day, Tsereteli went to work at the Academy of Art. His route took him past the American Embassy, where he witnessed crowds that had gathered to express their sympathy and join Americans in mourning. After seeing a mass of Russians crying together, Tsereteli decided to create a memorial using the image of a teardrop. That same day, he began to sketch his idea and consider ways to raise funds to build and gift a memorial to the American people. The artist considered many designs until finally deciding on the current monument's form.
Zurab Tsereteli also traveled to New York shortly after the attack, visiting Ground Zero to gain inspiration and pay his respects to the victims and survivors. He also began looking for an appropriate location for his memorial. While speaking with friends and colleagues who were in New York during the attacks, the artist heard stories about the use of boats and ferries to shuttle survivors away from the Twin Towers. He also learned about the New Jersey residents who worked in the towers. In response, Mr.Tsereteli decided to look for a site in New Jersey where the monument might be located along the waterfront.
From this location, the Twin Towers had once looked almost as if they were one building. The artists bronze tower reflects that perspective, pierced in the middle by a tear drop. The tear represents not only the sadness and grief over the loss of life on 9/11 and previous attacks on the World Trade Center, but also hope for a future free from terror.