To family members of the 205 Massachusetts people who died in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Boston Public Garden’s 9/11 memorial is sacred space. To a handful of skateboarders, the granite slab is just another “dope” skate spot.
“I think it’s stupid, why do they have a 9/11 memorial when it happened in New York?” a 15-year-old skater said. “Boston always lies and says its going to build a skatepark. I think the skaters should be treated equally like every other citizen.”
After cleaning scuffmarks off the memorial this fall, the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund hopes to install a short chain barrier on the backside of the monument this spring to deter skaters.
“The handful of posts would impair their wheels,” said John Curtis of the 9/11 Fund. “It doesn’t block any access to it. It shouldn’t have any visual changes.”
Curtis said the skaters’ sentiments prove more 9/11 education is needed.
“We need to make sure the community doesn’t forget,” he said. “It’s a challenge because as time passes, wounds heal; people forget things.”
After learning about the memorial, the skater said, “I don't care. It’s a skate spot. It’s pretty dope.”
Skatepark progress, finally?
Progress could finally soon be made on a massive skatepark local skateboarders have anxiously awaited for about a decade.
The Charles River Skatepark — planned for underneath the Zakim Bridge ramp in East Cambridge — will soon seek a contractor, according to Renata von Tscharner of the Charles River Conservancy.