9/11 garden in Cincinnati you didn’t know existed

A view of one of several sculptures with inscriptions at Liberty Garden in Eden Park on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. The garden was designed by David Whittaker, partner of Human Nature, in 2002 to commemorate those lost in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

A garden offers the ultimate gift, a sense of control, over the soil, even over the passage of time. Then a leaf turns yellow, the first chill of September arrives, and nature laughs. A garden is forever unfinished business.

In the crushing immediacy of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the nonprofit Keep America Beautiful urged local affiliates to build gardens to freedom. Cincinnati answered the call, and nearly 20 years later, the Liberty Garden thrives, a space to dwell not only in that day but in everything that followed, of who we were then, of who we are now.

On a knoll in the park

Linda Holterhoff, then president of Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, seized upon the national charge for a liberty garden and in the sorrowful aftermath of 9/11 found many willing partners. “People really stepped up with this,” she said.

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