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London memorial for Sept. 11 dead

Artist's impression
An artist's impression of the Grosvenor Square, London, memorial  

LONDON, England -- Britain has unveiled plans for a memorial garden in central London's "American Square" to commemorate victims of the September 11 attacks in the United States.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said the oval garden, planted with native British and American plants and ringed by a yew hedge, would enclose a stone centrepiece bearing an inscription remembering all those who died.

It will be built opposite the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square, which became known as "The American Square" after it became a focus of grief following last year's attacks, and should be ready next year in time for the second anniversary.

The design for the garden was devised with help from The Royal Parks and landscape architects Land Use Consultants.

It will feature an oval with two planting beds on one side and an oak pergola with a classic pavilion on the other.

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The names of all 67 British victims of the September 11 attacks will feature in the memorial. The inscription on the York stone centrepiece will act as a tribute to the 3,000 victims of all nationalities who died.

"Our intention is to provide a garden that will be simple, dignified and designed to the highest quality," Jowell said.

Talks continue to decide on the plants to be used in the garden. They will include flowers used in the posy presented to Queen Elizabeth II at the memorial service last November.

U.S. Ambassador William Farish and Britain's Prince Charles will lead mourners for a remembrance service in London's St Paul's Cathedral this year on September 11.

They will join a 2,000-strong congregation made up of families of British victims, the American community in Britain, emergency services and the business community.

Speaking on behalf of the British families, Tom Clarke told the UK's Press Association that the garden would be a focal point for people to remember lost loved ones.

"We will all remember those we lost in our individual ways, but having a permanent, public memorial in central London will act as a focal point for us.

"While September 11 was a private tragedy for us, I know that it was one shared by the country as a whole, so it is only fitting that there should be a public memorial to it and to those who died," Clarke said.

He added that the peaceful location, away from the city's hustle and bustle, was thought to be the best option and the siting near the U.S. Embassy also reflected the loss shared by both countries.


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