The agency in charge of redeveloping the World Trade Center site is conducting an international design competition for a memorial dedicated to the approximately 3,000 victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.
Organizers say the memorial will be the centerpiece of the World Trade Center site.
But they also want it to speak to future generations.
New York-based architect Maya Lin created the world-renowned Vietnam memorial in Washington, D.C., that features a V-shaped wall to powerfully display the names of U.S. troops lost in the conflict.
Now, Ms. Lin, who is one of 13 jurors in the competition for the World Trade Center Memorial, offers advice to competitors. She says the design should redefine what a memorial can be.
"You enter a competition not necessarily to win, but to say what you truly believe needs to be done there," she said. "We are seeking an incredibly moving piece of art, architecture, it can be a combination. You can think about what can a memorial be here? Is it a place, is it an object, does it frame the site?"
Organizers say they are looking for bold designs that can be created within a series of guidelines.
The memorial must complement the World Trade Center site, being developed by architect Daniel Libeskind.
The memorial must also meet criteria set by residents and the families of victims.
Jury member Paula Grant Berry, whose husband died in the attacks, said her responsibility is to the families.
"I am determined that a memorial will be built where we will be proud to bring our children," she said. "I believe that is my responsibility in this process. We must never lose sight of why we are doing this and who we are doing this for. Magnificent people died and we must be magnificent in how we honor them."
The chairman of the redevelopment agency, John Whitehead, says the memorial must pay tribute to all the victims who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.
He says it must also reflect the heroism displayed in the disaster.
"The memorial will not only recall those whose lives were lost, but it will reaffirm life itself," said Mr. Whitehead. "Even in our darkest hour, the heroism displayed on September 11 revealed the bright light of humanity and the durability of democracy."
The process is open to any adult anywhere in the world who registers by fax or on a special website [www.renewnyc.com] by the end of May.
The jury, made up of representatives from the art world, government, academia, the downtown New York community, and relatives of victims, will select a winning design by the end of the year.