By Dusty Berke
The 9/11 Tiles for America is the only grass-roots tribute to the tragic events of 9/11 that remains in the West Village on the corner where it first began. It was created by Lorrie Veassey, the owner of Our Name is Mud, a local paint-your-own pottery shop, as a way to brighten spirits. The tiles were hung on the rusty chain-link structures surrounding the MTA parking lot; the structure had been used as a wall of the missing.
The hand-painted tiles, with their messages of love, hope, peace, patriotism and sadness, are dedicated to the lives shattered and lost in the greatest tragedy of our time. They have survived Mother Nature, Father Time and years of construction as the MTA built its new fan plant.
The surviving tiles are too fragile to return to the chain-link structures that line the walls of the mta building, and are currently on display in a charming gallery bus that was donated by local residents. The bus has been parked in a legal metered space in front of the original site since September 11, 2018. A group of 9/11 family members and local residents would like the city to officially recognize the 9/11 Tiles for America Gallery Bus with a dedicated parking space where visitors can safely board the bus and see the Tiles.
Starting May 18th, volunteers will be out on the corner at Mulry Square collecting signatures to present to Andrew Cuomo, Bill De Blasio, Corey Johnson, Brad Hoylman, Gayle Brewer, Deborah Glick, Scott Stringer and Andy Byford from the MTA.
We are asking them to stand with us and support our efforts to create a dedicated parking space for the 9/11 gallery bus so it can remain on the corner where the 9/11 Tiles belong.
This grass roots tribute serves as testament to the American spirit and shows the heart of the nation, and how people unite to help one another in times of need. The tiles provide comfort for many people who still suffer from the tragic events that day, and we plan to keep it open daily as staffing allows.
To date there has never been a grant issued, nor have there been any public monies given on behalf of the 9/11 Tiles for America. Its momentum is being kept alive by Village Angels and the commitment of the community.
If you would like to volunteer to help staff the bus or contribute your time and skills to help ensure the 9/11 Tiles remain in the Village, please drop by the bus and say hi or email us at info@911TilesForAmerica.org