Governor George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and John C. Whitehead today announced the selection of the Board of Directors for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, Inc. The Foundation is a 501(c3) private not-for-profit corporation that will construct, own, operate, and maintain the World Trade Center Memorial, an on-site museum and a performing arts buildings.
This distinguished Board of Directors includes business leaders, victims' family members, and leading philanthropists. Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and William J. Clinton will serve as Honorary Members and have all pledged their support for the Foundation. John Whitehead will serve as Founding Chairman on an interim basis until such a time as a permanent chair is selected by the Board. Governor Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg, and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani will serve as Honorary Trustees.
Governor George E. Pataki said, "At the heart of the rebuilding is the creation of a lasting memorial which will honor the memories of those we lost and help tell their story to the world. The construction of the memorial and a vibrant cultural center will require significant resources which is why we have entrusted these accomplished individuals to lead this endeavor. I want to thank the many distinguished individuals and the four former Presidents who have agreed to help our nation both remember and renew. This Board will not only make sure that we have the resources to build the memorial, but that we provide for its care and operation for years to come. We owe John Whitehead our thanks for putting together this dynamic Board and for agreeing to lead the directors in the interim."
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "We can never forget the tragic events of both September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. That is why it is so important that when the new World Trade Center has been completed, we have a memorial that captures the depth of those attacks and preserves their full impact for future generations. After an exhaustive selection process, a design was chosen which I believe reflects our pain, while also giving shape to New York's spirit and our unshakable hope for the future. This board is charged with the task of raising the money for this momentous landmark and will assist the four important cultural organizations that will be housed on the redeveloped site with their fundraising efforts as well. As the mayor of New York, and also as a citizen, I pledge to do everything in my power to ensure that these projects reach their full potential, and know that each and every one of our board members is committed to do the same."
John C. Whitehead, Chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation said, "This distinguished group of leaders – corporate executives, philanthropists, family members, statesmen, and civic leaders – will ensure that we build a grand memorial and cultural complex. Doing so is our duty, our obligation, and our honor. I would like to thank the Board Members for accepting our invitation. We know you are equal to the task and we are grateful for your service. On a personal level, I am privileged to continue to serve this important cause. And I am committed to ensuring that our memorial receives all of the devotion, the energy, and the resources it requires. Together, we will build a memorial that heals our hearts and makes the world proud."
The Foundation's primary responsibility will be to raise funds for, and coordinate the planning and construction of, the Memorial at the World Trade Center site. Next Spring, the Foundation will undertake a historic fund-raising campaign to implement architects Michael Arad and Peter Walker design for the Memorial, Reflecting Absence. The Memorial features reflecting pools within sunken voids that encompass the footprints of the Twin Towers and provides a final resting place for all of the unidentified remains of those killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.
The Foundation will also be charged with overseeing the fundraising for the construction of the Memorial Center, an interpretive museum that will preserve artifacts from the attacks and convey individual stories of lives lost, as well as a coordinated campaign with the related cultural facilities to be occupied by the Drawing Center, the International Freedom Center, Joyce International Dance Center, and the Signature Theatre. The Foundation will raise resources, and will own, operate, and govern the entire memorial and cultural complex at the World Trade Center site.
Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton offered video greetings:
Former President Bush said, "I am proud to join the Board of the Foundation as an honorary member and I'm pleased that Presidents Ford, Carter, and Clinton have done the same. The creation of a memorial at the World Trade Center is of importance not only to New York but also to our nation as a whole, and, indeed to the entire world. The memorial will become a place of national and international reflection and healing. It will help us to pause and remember what we so tragically lost on September 11th, and, at the same time, it will enable us to look towards the future with a sense of perspective and hope."
Former President Clinton said, "The memorial foundation is an important organization for New York, our nation, and the world. It will create a permanent national memorial to honor all those lost in the attacks of September 11th 2001 and February 26, 1993. It will also create two cultural venues home to museum exhibits and performance halls – so that as we mourn our loss, we also celebrate life. I am privileged to be part of this project. To all who supported the Memorial Foundation I want to say thank you. The resiliency and strength of families who lost loved ones and those who were injured must always be remembered."
The Foundation's inaugural board meeting will take place in January of 2005. The Board will formally establish a leadership structure early next year. In addition to those Board Members announced today, Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg will each be designating a representative to serve on the Board of the Foundation.
In the upcoming year, the Foundation will launch a major fund-raising campaign inviting donations from around the world to support the initiative. The Foundation has been working with the fund-raising firm Community Counseling Service (CCS) to assist in these efforts. CCS has assisted a variety of leading nonprofit institutions including Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, City University of New York, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The Foundation expects to raise approximately $500 million. Donations can be made on the Foundation's official web site at www.WTCMemorialFoundation.org or checks, made payable to the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, can be sent to:
World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 5024
Bowling Green Station
New York, NY 10274-5024
The Foundation's Mission Statement is attached. For more information on the Foundation and its board members please visit www.WTCMemorialFoundation.org.