Mourners Find Solace at Queen Elizabeth II Garden

09/09/2022 in
Mourners Find Solace at Queen Elizabeth II Garden

New Yorkers looking for a place to mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II this week have flocked to one particularly British spot of reflection in Lower Manhattan: the Queen Elizabeth II Garden in Hanover Square.

The 96-year-old queen passed away on Thursday, sparking reactions  around the globe about one of the longest reigning monarchs in the world. New York, of course, was once the center of the American Revolution against the British empire, but many New Yorkers still feel connected to a political figure who has loomed large for 70 years. Some locals made their way to a park named after the monarch, to pay their respects. 

From NY1:

The monarch came to New York City three times during her near 70-year reign and, on her last trip in 2010, she came to this garden, nestled between skyscrapers that dominate the surrounding blocks. 

It is called The Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden, a tribute to the 250 people from the British Commonwealth who died in the terror attacks 21 years ago. 

“It spoke to us all that she cared,” said Nick Howard, the CEO of the garden. 

Garden CFO Jonathan Egan told Pix 11 that the site has served as a “common place to come on 9/11,” but now that the queen died – on the eve of another 9/11 anniversary — it fortuitously bridges a gap between nations. “Just having a common place to come on 9/11 means a lot,” Egan said.  

NBC New York noted that many visitors, such as Kevin Bernhardt, laid flowers at the plaque that has her name on it. “Obviously, very sad,” he said of the news of her passing. “I come from a British household so I thought I’d take the dog for a walk through the garden.”

The garden was originally known as The British Garden, but was renamed in 2012 to the Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden, as a memorial to the British victims of the 9/11 attacks. The garden was designed by an English landscape designer, combining the park’s footprint with the shape of the British Isles, with sandstone quarried from the Scottish highlands. It’s intended as a place for peace and reflection. 

“Here amongst the quarried stone and plantings, sent from the English to the Americans in a time of mutual loss,” a sign on the park reads, “this garden can be read and reread in the days after, remember, healing, and ever cultivating.” 

photo: NY1

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