Anti-Terrorism Gifter Becomes Terrorist
Updated: Mar 2
By Tony Forder
It's been a year since I visited the Teardrop Memorial. And a year since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. The irony I felt when viewing this sculpture has only magnified, this post 9-11 gift from Putin "To the struggle against world terrorism." At least the dictator's name has now been obscured from the monument.
How many tears have been shed in Ukraine?
How many in Russia?
How many missiles fired, bombs exploded?
How many lives lost, homes destroyed?
No matter how persuasive the arguments are
To uphold freedom and democracy
I can't help feeling if it's not here it will be somewhere else
For a nation addicted to weapons and war
Tear Drop monument
A gift from a dictator
Stares Freedom Tower
The Tear Drop is an impressive monument, 100 feet tall with a giant nickel-surfaced teardrop encased by two metallic sides in the center of a hexagonal patio. It is situated directly across the water from the Freedom Tower. There was a sign with an etching of the monument in the foreground and the statue of Liberty followed by Manhattan in the background with an outline of where the two World Trade Center Towers stood. The sign also included a dedication, in two languages. One was English of course, the other looked something like Russian I thought.
It was a cold, clear afternoon, and seemed to become much colder as I read the English.
GIFT FROM THE PEOPLE OF RUSSIA
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN
"THIS SITE WILL BE A HOME FOR THE MONUMENT
TO THE STRUGGLE AGAINST WORLD TERRORISM."
This was two days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
I checked the back story online. The sculpture was created by Russian artist and sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, who has worked closely with the Russian government. The monument was initially given to the local government of Jersey City but was rejected. It was then relocated to its present placement in Bayonne. Putin himself attended the groundbreaking in 2005. The monument was dedicated the following year, on September 11 with then President Bill Clinton in attendance.
In August 2010 the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced it had plans to build a container facility on the location and the monument would most likely have to be moved. However, Robert "Captain Bob" Terzi, a Bayonne taxi driver started an online petition to prevent the relocation.
According to Wikipedia, "It was listed as one of the world's ugliest statues by Foreign Policy magazine. Pro Arts Jersey City called it 'an insensitive, self-aggrandizing piece of pompousness by one of the world's blatant self-promoters.'"
Perhaps it can still be a MONUMENT TO THE STRUGGLE AGAINST WORLD TERRORISM but now the gifter is the terrorist, and the teardrop is surely for the people of Ukraine.