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Did You Know?

We’re coming up on 20 years since the tragedy of 9/11. The nation seemed to stop cold that Tuesday as we learned of the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and the plane hijacking. Our country had been attacked, compelling so many of us to seek solace and the company of others to collectively grieve.    

International Fountain at Seattle Center became a community gathering place that day. Thousands of people were drawn to it. Mourners brought flowers to place in the fountain – small mementos for the thousands of victims thousands of miles away. The fountain memorial lasted days longer than anyone expected and became known as the million-flower vigil. 

And what happened to those million flowers? With help from Interbay P-Patch and Seattle Parks, they were turned into compost. But the amount of plant material was daunting. Fortunately, a request for volunteers brought out hundreds of people to help. 

Volunteers included firefighters in uniform and folks in P-Patch T-shirts. They separated the compostable (flowers) from the non-compostable (wires, cards and plastic). When it was over, 80 cubic yards of flowers remained. The chopping and mixing process was soon in full swing at Interbay P-Patch. The City provided big machines and the manpower to mix the material.  

A box of the compost was sent to New York to be used in the restoration of Liberty Community Gardens, which were destroyed in the Twin Tower rescue and cleanup efforts. Most of the compost stayed closer to home, mixed in the soil of a new garden at Seattle Center, the 9/11 Memorial Garden adjacent to Fisher Pavilion. 

May the plantings of the 9/11 Memorial Garden forever flourish as a reminder of our fragile liberty – and the importance of fostering peace and understanding in the world.  

People gathered around the International Fountain at Seattle Center. The fountain is turned off. There are many flowers that have been laid around the fountain walls.
Community gathered around Seattle Center’s International Fountain

#seattlecenter #didyouknow #9/11

About Seattle Center: 

Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts and family gathering place in the core of our region. More than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations that reside on the grounds, together with a broad range of public and community programs, create thousands of events on the 74-acre campus and attract over 12 million visitors each year. At Seattle Center, part of Uptown Arts & Cultural District, our purpose is to create exceptional events, experiences and environments that delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities. Activities at the Center generate $1.864 billion in business activity and $631 million in labor income.