September 11, 2011 marked the tenth anniversary of the worst terror attack ever to occur in the history of the United States. To commemorate this anniversary, and in an effort to create a statement of hope and healing for the future, Prepare New York created Ribbons of Hope.

More than 20,000 ribbons, each inscribed with a message of remembrance, hope and healing, were created by people throughout the 5 boroughs, across the country and around the world, leading to the creation of 12 nine foot tall tapestries of hope. Each one is as colorful and diverse as New York itself.

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 remained on display for the next month, before traveling elsewhere.

These panels have now become a traveling, interactive expression of community art that is touring throughout the New York City region—in places both religious and secular—throughout the tenth anniversary year. Panels have been mounted in groups of threes and fours and ribbons are added in each location. Worship liturgies, discussions, dramatic presentations and children’s activities have been created as companion elements to these displays.

You can continue to follow the journey of Ribbons of Hope on our Ribbons of Hope Facebook page.

If you are interested in hosting the Ribbons of Hope panels contact Marina at Parlagreco, Inc. by clicking here.

Below is an interactive map that shows where the Ribbons of Hope panels have been so far.

View Ribbons of Hope in a larger map
A volunteer looks out over the river during the 9/11 weekend in Battery Park.
5 year old, Sonoma Parlagreco, fills out her ribbon of hope.
12 framed grids lined the Gardens of Remembrance over the 9/11 weekend. Passersby were invited to add a ribbon inscribed with their own message of hope.
A woman and child tie ribbons to the panels on 9/11/11.
On 9/12/11 a dedication ceremony was held featuring prominent leaders from New York City and beyond.
In December of 2011, the Ribbons of Hope panels were on display at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for Paul Winter's Winter Solstice concert.
More ribbons were added during the three day Winter Solstice event.
On December 30th, 2011 the Ribbons of Hope panels were on display at the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast at the New York Public Library. Mayor Bloomberg and others, added ribbons as well.