Wall of Hope Memorial
Backstory and Context
Creation of the Wall of Hope
In the first year after the 9-11 attacks, the non-profit Rhode Island for Community and Justice (RICJ) began coordinating a state-wide effort to bring together Rhode Islanders on a mission to express hope, remembrance, and community amidst the frightened and distraught aura of the time. Donations came flooding in for the materials, such as paints and blank tiles, and residents were allowed to express their feelings and reflect on the attack by creating a small image. The created tiles expressed feelings of hope, strength, togetherness, faith, love, and more. Anyone who wanted could create a tile and nobody was turned away for lack of funds.
As such, by September 11th, 2002, the RICJ unveiled the Wall of Hope memorial. At first, RICJ planned on keeping the Wall of Hope installations (there are three in Providence) for about 2 years, as the paints and interior tiles used were not meant to withstand outdoor conditions. As such, the memorial was designed to move to a permanent home after the two years. Ideally, the choice was the to-be-constructed Heritage Harbor Museum, which never came to fruition. The Wall of Hope remained outdoors ever since, although natural wear and graffiti have necessitated some repair.
Every year since the unveiling of the Wall of Hope, the RICJ has held special events on the anniversary of 9/11. On the 2013 anniversary, the RICJ revealed a new addition to the Wall of Hope, titled, “The Never Forgotten of Rhode Island.” This installation pays tribute to the specific Rhode Island residents who died in the attack, and the mosaic features an artistic rendering of the names and faces of those lost.1