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Remarks by Ambassador Antonov and Sculptor Tsereteli to the Tear of Grief 9/11 Memorial Gathering

Sept. 13, 2021 (EIRNS)—Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States Anatoly Antonov conveyed the following message to participants of the 9/11 memorial ceremony at the Tear of Sorrow Monument, in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Sept. 12:

“Dear friends,

“These days we mourn the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I would like to express my sincere condolences to the nearest and dearest of all those who lost their lives two decades ago because of inhuman actions of terrorists.

“Nearly 3,000 people died as result of barbaric hijacking of four passenger planes and following attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Among the victims were citizens of the United States, as well as dozens of other countries, including our compatriots—Russians and immigrants from the former U.S.S.R.

“Right after the tragedy, Russia expressed its full solidarity with the Americans. Our country has also experienced horrific human tragedy from massive terrorist attacks, which took lives of hundreds of innocent people.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first world leader to call his American colleague, George W. Bush after those terrorist attacks. ‘I bow to the victims’ memory, and admire New Yorkers’ courage,’ wrote the Russian leader on the Memorial Wall at the site of the collapsed Twin Towers of the World Trade Center during his visit to the U.S. in November 2001.

“The 9/11 tragedy has shown that terrorism is a common global threat. Any attempts to create isolated ‘islands of security’ in the modern inter- connected world are ephemeral and doomed to failure. The victory over terrorists can be achieved only through joint efforts of the entire international community. There is no place for carelessness and double standards in this regard. It is unacceptable to divide terrorists into the good and the bad.

“Vladimir Putin as well as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have stated multiple times that cooperation in counterterrorism meets the interests of both Moscow and Washington. Interaction in this sphere can save lives of hundreds of people.

“The Tear of Sorrow Monument testifies to the unity of our peoples in the face of the global terrorist threat. This memorial epitomizes grief, which the Russians share with the Americans.”

Sculptor Zurab Tsereteli made the decision on Sept. 11, 2001 to design a monument as a gift to the American people, which was erected in September 2006 at the Bayonne park across New York harbor from where the Twin Towers stood. The monument consists of a 40-foot bronze tower with a gash down the middle, from which a large, nickel tear-drop hangs. At the base of the monument are granite name plates, listing the names of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Tsereteli, who is president of the Russian Academy of Arts, expressed the following message, on Sept. 12, 2021:

“Dear friends,

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. I would like to once again express my deep condolences to the families and relatives of the victims, to everyone who lost loved ones on this fateful day.

“September 11, 2001 went down in history as a mournful day for the whole world. I expressed my experience on the same day in sketches; this is how I always used to think and experience as an artist. This is how the idea came about to create a monument dedicated to the fight against international terrorism. The memorial to the victims of September 11 in New York is a special work for me. I think everyone who remembers that day was gripped by horror, not only immediately, but also from the fact that every person on the planet today is in great danger. That is why our countries are striving to make every possible effort to combat international terrorism.

“When I was working on the project of the monument, I felt that I had to create a monument that would not only immortalize the tragic events of 2001, but also become a symbol of the struggle between good and evil and, at the same time, an image of memory that would reveal the depth of sorrow and suffering, that would show that people in the name of saving our common civilization and our planet should not destroy each other.

“The Tear of Sorrow Monument is a sculptural image of the memory of the dead, a tear that mourns their souls. In it we see our reflection and in this there is a warning to all those who sow evil.

“Today, peace and love are the most valuable things, may they live in our hearts as an eternal, eternal fire.”

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