Bayonne 9/11 memorial from Russian government now tarnished by invasion of Ukraine

In the mid-2000s, a 10-story granite 9/11 memorial built by a Russian artist sparked controversy when it was first rejected by Jersey City and then erected in Bayonne.
And now that same monument – which bears Russian President Vladimir Putin’s name – is turning heads once again in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“To the Struggle Against World Terrorism,” also known as the Tear Drop Memorial, stands at the end of the former Military Ocean Terminal pier in Bayonne. It bears the names of the people who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center. But it also bears Putin’s name in two separate places.
The memorial was a gift from Russia dedicated by Putin himself during a visit to the United States in 2006.
As millions in Ukraine now struggle against the terror unleashed by Putin, a visit to the somber memorial now becomes sickening for a whole new set of reasons.
Walter Hoffman rides his bike out there every day. He says he would like to see Putin’s name erased from the memorial.
“I appreciate the memorial very much, but now I see it different. It’s coming from somebody who doesn’t deserve to get nothing. He takes stuff from people,” Hoffman says.
The sculpture has a rocky history. The work was originally offered to Jersey City but was rejected by leaders there after a local artists organization called it “an insensitive, self-aggrandizing piece of pompousness by one of the world’s blatant self-promoters.”
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had plans 12 years ago to move the monument to build a container port on the pier. They dropped the idea after a petition drive led by a Bayonne resident who wanted to keep the memorial there. One can only wonder now if the idea may have more support after all that is happening with Putin and Ukraine.