Ribbons proclaim hope at Church Center for United Nations

Ribbon of Hope tapestry - nine-foot tallOn October 12, four nine-foot tall tapestries appeared in Tillman Chapel at the Church Center for the United Nations. Thousands of ribbons decorated each tapestry. Each ribbon carried a message of hope, remembrance, and healing.

To mark the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, Prepare New York created the Ribbons of Hope project. They report that “more than 20,000 ribbons, were created by people throughout the 5 boroughs, across the country and around the world.” The ribbons combine to create a tapestry as “colorful and diverse as New York itself” – as colorful and diverse as God’s world.

Prepare New York notes:

Throughout the 9/11 weekend, the Ribbons of Hope project was installed in Battery Park alongside the Gardens of Remembrance. New Yorkers and visitors alike were encouraged to bring their ribbons to Battery Park in lower Manhattan, thereby symbolically reversing the fear-filled path from lower Manhattan that was taken by so many New Yorkers a decade ago. There were also many ribbons and gracious volunteers on hand all weekend long to help include and assist passers-by in the activity. People from all over the world participated: 9/11 family members and children who weren’t yet born a decade ago, Senior Citizens from Pennsylvania’s Amish country and a synagogue from El Paso, third graders from Budapest and farmers from Missouri. Quickly the panels began filling up with prayers and dreams and memories of every color and in every language. As one Daily News reporter witnessed, children especially were drawn to the activity. Watch the Daily News video here.

On September 12th, a dedication ceremony was held. Prominent religious leaders spoke and the panels were lovingly moved from Battery Park to four different locations around the city where they will remain on display for the next month, before traveling elsewhere. Watch a short highlight video of the dedication ceremony. And visit our interactive map that continues to track the whereabouts of this public art project.

Ribbons of Hope close upThe Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations extended the opportunity to participate in the Ribbons of Hope project to the worshiping community at the Church Center for the United Nations, seminar participants from the Presbytery of West Virginia and St. James Presbyterian Church.

The interactive map shows that the Ribbons of Hope project resulted in the creation of 12 tapestries. The tapestries at the Church Center for the United Nations will remain there until mid-November.

Thanks to Prepare New York for conceiving the idea for the Ribbons of Hope project. Thanks to all who participated in the project. May the hopes expressed on the ribbons come true.

Photos by Ricarda Velez-Negron.

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