Shortly before 5pm on Monday, June 22, 2009, tragedy struck as two Metro trains collided, abruptly ending nine lives and affecting countless others. Each person who lost their life on that day had a unique story to tell. The victims came from diverse backgrounds and lived in many different locations around Washington, D.C. They were separated in age by 39 years and life was pulling them in different directions. Yet, although these individuals boarded the red line on that day with varied destinations, the accident that followed, bound them together forever in a single instant.
reform’s competition proposal, produced in collaboration with Robert Kent Wilson, uses the notion of “time” as a means of celebrating the individual qualities and achievements of each of the nine victims, revealing relationships between the various moments in each of their lives, and illustrating links that forever bind them together. Within the Memorial Garden, complex readings slowly emerge through simple yet powerful elements set symbolically in reference to one another. Every element of the garden holds meaning. Each wall represents one victim. The length of the walls relate to the age of each victim. The walls and ground plane are marked (grooved) to indicate significant moments in the victims’ lives. The aligned ends of the walls signify the instant in time when the accident occurred, while pools of water extending out from the walls suggest that, even though the victims are no longer physically present, they will continue to have a lasting impact.
Our Memorial Park proposal seeks to provide family members a place to remember significant moments with loved ones, reflect on their loss, and draw strength and inspiration for the future.