On 9/11/2001 and the emotional days that followed, Village resident, Lorrie Veasey, owner of a do-it-yourself pottery store, Our Name is Mud, “wanted to help dig” but could not. So she did the only thing she could with her hands. Lorrie began to fashion hundreds of Angels, Doves and American Flags that she hung on the rusty chain link fence surrounding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) parking lot across from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, which had become the community’s makeshift message board. It's the place where the Villagers gathered. The fence was blanketed with photos and messages for the missing and for those who would never return to their families and loved ones.
It was a place to find support where people gathered to comfort one another - their voices heard and their emotions shared. It was a hopeful place. Lorrie reached out to other potters, and messages painted on tiny tiles began to arrive from across the country. As news of the 9/11 Tiles spread, visitors from around the world stopped at the fence to express their heartfelt sentiments, while many added a tile with a personal message.
There is now an incredible opportunity to secure and create an indoor home to safeguard the 9/11 Tiles for America.
This home will be in the West Village where the tiles can live on, and where we can surround them with Art, Poetry, and Music that people created as a way to try and make sense of what happened on that day. It is time for action. Let's protect and preserve these sacred messages, and bring them home for good.
The tiles are now 15 years old, and many are too fragile to survive another season outdoors.
As our city approaches the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Hurricane Hermine, which recently threatened our city, is a stark reminder that these precious tiles were nearly lost in 2011 with Hurricane Irene about to converge on New York.
Dusty Berke, local resident and "Village Angel," passed the memorial that day for what she feared might be the last time. Overcome with emotion and a drive to protect them, she began stopping other residents to help with this daunting task. Within 20 minutes, scores of “Village Angels” showed up to help save the tiles. On that day everyone was equal. Without a word people found their place in the process and worked as one to safely remove these fragile ceramic messages of love and hope. Within a few short hours, as the last cart of tiles was wheeled into Rizza Salon, Hurricane Irene began to rock the city.
After the storm the community came together again to celebrate saving the beloved 9/11 Tiles for America, and to decide how best to safeguard them. To read more about our rich history visit our website at www.911tilesforamerica.org.
Become a Village Angel.
Please go to the green button on the top right and donate $9.11 towards the preservation of the 9/11 Tiles for America in the heart of the West Village. Please help bring them home, for good.
9/11 Tiles for America is a grassroots, community-based movement operating under the auspices of the Temple of Understanding (TOU), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit interfaith and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
IT'S TIME FOR ACTION - DONATE NOW!
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Our goal is to inspire 1 million people to become Village Angels by donating $9.11 toward the preservation of the 911 Tiles for America.
You will receive our heartfelt thank you and the opportunity to help us safeguard one of the world's most important 9/11 sites.
You will also be able to send us a virtual, digital tile that will be featured at www.911tilesforamerica.org and have a voice in our online community.
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