Earlier this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo and community leaders celebrated the start of construction on the Circle of Heroes, a new monument in Battery Park City. The memorial will honor the continued dedication and sacrifice that important workers have made in New York State.
The memorial is slated to be completed by Labor Day September 6th. The surrounding green space by the water, the Essential Worker Park, will also honor New York’s heroes.
“At the start of the pandemic, when people were told to stay home, key workers went to work every day to make sure their New York roommates were safe, fed and looked after,” said Governor Cuomo. “While we can never repay our most important employees in full, we can honor and celebrate them with this memorial that will forever stand as a tribute to all they have done in our greatest need and beyond for New York. These heroes continue to inspire us every day and we are forever grateful for their service and sacrifice. “
Renderings of the memorial show 19 red maple trees symbolizing the many essential trades and professions that carried New York through the pandemic. The 19 groups include nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, transportation workers, police officers, EMTS and paramedics, firefighters, correctional officers, shop workers, National Guard, government workers, building service workers, utility and communication workers, delivery drivers, teachers, sanitation workers, construction and construction workers Production workers, catering and hospitality workers.
The memorial will also feature an eternal flame designed to represent New York State’s eternal gratitude for key workers, curved benches and pathways, shaded lawns, and plaques.
The design of the monument and surrounding park was reviewed and approved by the Governor’s Essential Workers Monument Advisory Committee. The committee consists of more than two dozen members from local trade unions, professional associations, and labor and police organizations.
“During the pandemic, key workers have shown their strengths and how invaluable they are to our communities,” said New York State Building & Construction Trades Council President Gary LaBarbera. “This room will be an incredible place to meet with loved ones, to reflect on the unprecedented experience of COVID-19 and how impressive we will be when we team up.”
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