Liberty State Park
Statue of Liberty and
On the New York Harbor, less than 2,000 feet from the Statue of Liberty,
Liberty State Park has served a vital role in the development of New Jersey's
metropolitan region and the history of the nation.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries the area that is now Liberty State
Park was a major waterfront industrial area with an extensive freight and
passenger transportation network. This network became the lifeline of New York
City and the harbor area. The heart of this transportation network was the
Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal (CRRNJ), located in the northern
portion of the park. The CRRNJ Terminal stands with the Statue of Liberty and
Ellis Island to unfold one of this nation's most dramatic stories: the
immigration of northern, southern, and eastern Europeans into the United
States. After being greeted by the Statue of Liberty and processed at Ellis
Island, these immigrants purchased tickets and boarded trains, at the CRRNJ
Terminal, that took them to their new homes throughout the United States. The
Terminal served these immigrants as the gateway to the realization of their
hopes and dreams of a new life in America.
Today, Liberty State Park continues to serve a vital role in the New York
Harbor area. As the railroads and industry declined, the land was abandoned
and became a desolate dump site. With the development of Liberty State Park
came a renaissance of the waterfront. Land with decaying buildings, overgrown
tracks and piles of debris was transformed into a modern urban state park. The
park was formerly opened on Flag Day, June 14, 1976, as New Jersey's
bicentennial gift to the nation. Most of this 1,122 acre park is open space
with approximately 300 acres developed for public recreation.
Grove of Rememberance Ceremony
Arbor Day 2003 - Friday, April 25, 2003
Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ
Remarks by Sam Pesin, Pres.
As the pres. of The Friends and the
son of Morris Pesin, the ďfatherĒ of LSP, I express deep gratitude to the NJ
Tree Foundation, its exec.dir. Lisa Simms who conceived the idea for GOR, the
DEPís Mike DíErrico from the Forestry Service and Frank Gallagher, from P& F, &
the Grove Committee.
This Grove of Remembrance (GOR) is a powerful living tribute to NJís 691 victims
of 9/11. The Grove is a natural sanctuary which will inspire reflection and hope
for generations to come. As the sun, rain, and earth will nourish the trees, the
GOR will nourish our spirits.
LSP is sacred ground because of its closeness to Lady Liberty and Ellis Island,
this green park is scarce open space in this concrete densely populated region.
The role the park played on 9/11 as an evacuation center for 1000s of people,
the compassionate work of park employees on that sad day, and the parkís
becoming NJís Victimsí Assistance Center, all make LSP an even more sacred NJ
and American public park. The GOR radiates with the beauty of sacredness.
Someone once said that groves of trees were Godís first temples. The parkís
natural beauty, peacefulness, and free open space constantly inspire reflection
on our lives and connects with our soul. The GOR makes the park an even richer
The Park is a backdrop for a historic Gateway to America and the GOR will open a
to our hearts. The GOR is a meaningful addition to LSP, which is among our
special places, comparable to Washington DCís National Mall between the
Washington Monument and the Lincolnís Memorial. The Grove makes this park an
even more special place.
This park is the Peopleís Park. Caring citizens have put democracy into action
many times to defend this free park against commercialization threats. Lady
Liberty and her torch sparks feelings about freedom and democracy and Ellis
Island evokes the memory of the hardships endured by the millions who immigrated
here. The GOR makes the park an even stronger symbol of our nationís democracy,
values, and dreams.
This is a great addition to LSPís beauty and majesty. It creates an attractive
Northern entrance, and softens our approach to the empty skyline up the
cobblestone road. I also want to thank the Prudential Foundation for their
generous donation for the landscaping, grass & paths around GOR.
This park is a green oasis for people to enjoy relaxation, recreation, nature,
history, and mostly free cultural events. The GOR will increase the parkís great
value as a family park and community space. People of all ages, of all cultural
backgrounds, and from around our state, nation, and world will gather in the
presence of these trees, and be stronger for doing so.
The attack of 9/11, must ultimately lead to bringing the people of the world
together. The GOR which millions of people will see must become a bridge from
the darkness and pain of 9/11 to a future better world. The GOR is a place of
sorrow and hope and is also a call to action. The leaves of these quiet trees
call out to us about our moral obligation of conscience to remember the NJ
victims and all who perished, and the trees also call out to each of us about
our responsibility to work in our communities for a more loving, just and
peaceful world. Thank you again, NJ Tree Foundation, for this Grove, whose
symbolism and life enriches this treasured park and enriches our souls.