BAYONNE, N.J. – A 100-foot-tall bronze sculpture evokes the twins towers that once soared from the Manhattan skyline across the Hudson River, but some question whether all the names etched into the base are of people who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The memorial lists 3,024 names, according to the artist's attorney. That's 45 more than the official list, which includes six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and the 2,973 killed on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
"We tried so hard to make it right," said Emily Madoff, an attorney for the artist. "If we erred, we erred on the side of inclusion."
New York City officials removed 43 names in 2003 and 2004 from the list of the dead at the trade center, saying some people had tried to fake their own deaths, while others had been falsely reported missing or their deaths could not be proven to have occurred at ground zero.
Madoff said after trying to determine the correct list of names from several sources, she asked for confirmation from Kenneth Feinberg, the former special master of a federal Sept. 11 victim compensation fund, who referred her to a book published by The New York Times in 2003.
She said she stands by her list of names as being "the most accurate one we could possibly find," she said.
Jagged lines divide the massive monument into two tower-like pieces, and a 40-foot steel teardrop gently hangs in the open center, like a bell.
Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli, 72, said through a translator that the tear symbolizes "sadness over grief that will become happiness in the future when terrorism is defeated."
On fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Tsereteli will dedicate his 175-ton work, which sits on a former military base, past the entrance to a cruise terminal, at the tip of a peninsula.
The sculpture, "To The Struggle Against World Terrorism," will be the centerpiece of a 2-acre park nearing completion in Bayonne.
The monument has been billed as a gift from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the people of Russia and the artist to the people of the United States, in the spirit of France's gift of the Statue of Liberty, which is just across the water.