Russian President Vladimir Putin's name removed from Bayonne 9/11 memorial
Russian President Vladimir Putin's name has been taken off of an iconic 9/11 memorial in Bayonne, a monument given as a gift from the people of Russia.
Surrounding the Tear Drop Memorial is the names of all those who died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
Putin's name has been covered following Russian aggression and the bombing of Ukraine.
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“There's no sense in letting him be honored here with what he's doing in the Ukraine today,” says Bayonne Mayor James Davis. “He's attacking a country that was no threat to him."
People who spoke to News 12 agree with the move to remove Putin’s name.
"Considering it's a gift from Russia, it's exactly that,” says Scott Marple. “It represents the Russian sympathy toward the tragedy that happened in 2001."
The memorial grounds also feature the names of the 13 people from Bayonne who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Davis says he knew many of them, going to high school together with them. When residents in Bayonne asked him whether the monument would be taken down because of its ties to Russia, he said “absolutely not."
"It's not the people of Russia who started this war, it's one person,” says Mayor Davis. “His name has been removed. For what this monument stands for, this monument is going nowhere."
The 10-story monument was made by Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli. He officially named it "To the Struggle Against World Terrorism.”
The monument was given in 2005 as a gift to Bayonne from the people of Russia to show their condolences after so many innocent lives were lost.
Bayonne has a sizable Ukrainian population. Donation efforts to help those fleeing the war are ongoing in the community.