BAYONNE — The name of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been covered on Bayonne’s Sept. 11 Teardrop Memorial.
The 175 ton bronze-and-glass memorial at the former Military Ocean Terminal was a gift from the Russian people and designed by Georgian artist Zurab Tsereteli. Putin attended the groundbreaking in 2005. His name is included on two plaques written in English and Russian.
Its formal name is “To the Struggle Against World Terrorism."
Mayor Jimmy Davis said he ordered Putin's name be covered up because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"I want to be clear, we will NEVER take down this monument! We have, however, taken steps to cover the name of Putin, due to his recent actions against the people of Ukraine," Mayor Jimmy Davis wrote on his Facebook page. “I directed this action to be taken so that we don’t deface this honoring of the victims and families of 9/11/01, and we show our support with the people of Ukraine."
Davis made it clear that the action was a statement against Putin and not the Russian people.
"We remain grateful to the Russian people for the memorial. They did not start the war. Mr. Putin did. The memorial will stay in place on our waterfront. It is not going anywhere," Davis said in a statement.
The 10-story statue was opened in 2006 but the Port Authority threatened to move it to make room for a container facility in 2010. A petition by cab driver Robert "Captain Bob" Terzi convinced the agency to keep the statue in place.
A 4-foot section of the World Trade Center was placed next to the statue in 2011.
There are a number of memorials in New Jersey dedicated to remembering the lives of residents lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The sites range from gardens to parks and plaques to statues.
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