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9/11 Tiles for America

The only living memorial of its kind, created by the people and dedicated to the events of 9/11/2001,

has come home to the heart of the Village in New York City for good.

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On the 17th anniversary of the historic tragedy, family and community members are welcome to gather at the TFA Village site to greet and join in the annual walk of remembrance honoring Father Mychal Judge, the beloved New York City Fire Department Chaplain and the first and most famous victim of the World Trade Center attack. Walk participants include representatives from law enforcement and members of the FDNY’s Squad 18, who will be part of the re-dedication of the ‘Tiles for America’. (It should be noted that all of Squad 18 perished as part of the very first responders that day.)

Because of the fragile nature of these tiles, the immediate goal is to create a permanent indoor home and gallery for this cherished collection in the heart of the West Village to allow people to take comfort in the tiles and their messages. These tiles, numbering more than three thousand, were created by individuals of all ages, artists and others from New York, across the country and around the world in tribute to the lives that were lost on September 11, 2001. Here the cherished handmade ceramic tiles with inspirational messages will be protected and surrounded by art, music, poetry and special projects inspired by events of 9/11 for all people to experience.

The site of this grass roots memorial is located at Mulry Square – the ‘gateway to the West Village’ and Lower Manhattan.  The 9/11 Tiles for America (TFA) were originally created by family and friends in commemoration of those lost that day, and quickly grew to include visitors from around the world who expressed heartfelt sentiments in homage of and as a testament to the fact that these lives mattered.

Special Programming Note

With the re-dedication of Tiles for America, this site is in the early stages of its launch. Visit the site often over the days and weeks to come for exciting updates and announcements of projects and partnerships.

How It All Began

It’s been 15 long years since the community first gathered across from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital to look for their loved ones, comfort one another, and offer help in any way they could.

Like so many, Village resident Lorrie Veasey, owner of Our Name is Mud ceramic store and gallery, “wanted to dig” at the WTC site but could not. So she did the only thing she could with her hands.  Lorrie began to fashion doves, angels and American flags which she hung on the rusty chain link fence surrounding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) parking lot across from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York’s Greenwich Village, which had become the community’s message board. As a place where the Villagers came together, 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 hopeful place. It was a place to find support where people gathered to comfort one another – their voices heard and their emotions shared. Lorrie reached out to other potters, and messages painted on tiny tiles began to arrive from across the country. As news of the living memorial spread, visitors from around the world stopped at the fence to express their heartfelt sentiments, while many added a tile with a personal message.

Ten years later, on August 27, 2011 as Hurricane Irene was barreling towards the city, another village resident, Dusty Berke, passed the memorial for what she feared might be the last time and thought how sad.  As Dusty describes it:

I was immediately overcome by a greater power with an urgent necessity to save these precious tiles. There were thousands of them and the storm appeared imminent.  This impossible task was daunting, but I believed in my heart that people would come to help.  And they did.

Within 20 minutes nearly 100 “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 the fragile ceramic messages of love and hope. Within a few short hours, as the last cart of tiles was wheeled to the safety of Rizza Salon, Hurricane Irene began to rock the city.

After the storm the community came together again to celebrate saving our beloved 9/11 Tiles for America, and to decide how best to return the tiles to the fence.

Your contribution matters.

You make the difference. Tell us your story…

Everyone has a story. This is a place for you. In order to make this a content rich site for the people, please reach out to post any links, art or relevant content that would make a difference to this special memorial as we approach this sixteenth anniversary year. This is the people’s site and you are the best source.

How you can help

This is a time for action. You can contribute by making an individual donation of $9.11… or more. By reaching out to friends and family, it is the hope that millions of people around the world will answer the call for this grassroots initiative to provide a permanent home for this living memorial of peace, and become a part of this special community.

You can also help by volunteering your time and expertise in relevant fields including technology, social media, PR, and marketing; or share your art, music and any content or form of expression you feel would be significant and serve as an inspiration as we step into the vision for the future and make a difference in our world.

Coming Soon

Some of the ongoing projects currently in the works include an online American P.I.E. (People’s Information Exchange.) This platform will serve as a place where people can have a voice, conduct discussions about the world and make shared decisions and choices about special projects dedicated to peace, ongoing activities of the 911 Tiles for America home and gallery that honor the memorial. With a collective voice the community can help make a difference to humankind.


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.

The TOU was founded in 1960 by Juliet Hollister. Her vision has been supported by a network of distinguished “Founding Friends” over the years including Eleanor Roosevelt, Pope John XXIII and the 14th Dalai Lama among others. The mission of the organization is to achieve harmonious coexistence and a sustainable future among individuals, communities and societies from across the globe through interfaith dialogue and education, and our common desire for Peace.


The objective is to raise money – $9.11 at a time – as a symbolic number to create a permanent home for the original people’s memorial in the heart of the Village. You can help multiply that amount by passing the message on to others in your circle of family and friends so that together we can all accomplish something important by honoring the memory of this beloved memorial for generations to come.

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