By AMY WESTFELDT
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - The Sept. 11 memorial is taking a new name, survivors' stories and artifacts from its planned museum on a national tour that begins in South Carolina on the eve of the terrorist attacks' sixth anniversary.
The 15-city tour throughout the South and Midwest is modeled after the 1980s campaign that raised money to renovate the Statue of Liberty by establishing it as a national icon, organizers say.
"We are building a national symbol here that people are going to look at and hopefully associate as being American," said Joseph Daniels, president of the memorial's foundation.
Previously known as the World Trade Center Memorial, the memorial's official name is now the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center. The memorial debuted a new logo and Internet address Tuesday.
Daniels said "World Trade Center" was dropped from the beginning of the memorial's name to better reflect the scope of the attacks that also hit the Pentagon and brought down a jetliner in a Shanksville, Pa., field. The city lists 2,750 people killed in the New York attacks, including a woman who died months later of lung disease; 224 died at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
"This memorial is every bit of a part of someone's life who is from Columbia (S.C.) as it is someone who lives two blocks from ground zero," Daniels said. "This brings to mind that this not just a New York event."
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the government agency that owned the trade center and stores more than 1,000 pieces of tower steel and other artifacts at an airport hangar, had no comment on the name change.
Paula Grant Berry, a foundation board member whose husband was killed at the trade center on Sept. 11, said the name is more appropriate for a national memorial to the attacks.
Berry said the official title is "a bit of a mouthful" and said the name may change again over time. "People will not use the whole thing when they say, `I'm going to it,"' she said.
The national tour begins on Sept. 10 in Columbia, S.C., home to the company fabricating thousands of tons of steel for the memorial. Two 37-foot-long, 4-ton beams that will be installed at the memorial will travel with foundation leaders, Sept. 11 survivors, and exhibits including a firefighter's helmet, and the watch and building IDs of a man who escaped from the north tower.
Other stops planned include Cincinnati, where organizers will meet with four Ohio teenagers who walked 650 miles to raise money for the memorial; Des Moines, Iowa; Madison, Wis.; Pittsburgh; and Lexington, Ky. Tour organizers said earlier this year they planned stops at cities like Boston, San Francisco and Denver.
Daniels said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who chairs the memorial board and has spearheaded its fundraising for a year, did not choose the new cities on the tour, which include several stops in presidential swing states. The mayor hasn't yet committed to which cities he would stop at on the tour. Bloomberg left the Republican Party in June and has actively courted speculation of a possible White House bid in 2008.
"During the planning process, the destination cities evolved, but they didn't evolve through discussions with City Hall," Daniels said.
More than $300 million has been raised privately and more than $400 million is committed by the government to build the 8-acre memorial, which will set two waterfall-filled pools just above the twin towers' footprints, surrounded by a glade of oak and sweetgum trees. Visitors will descend underground to a Sept. 11 museum and to view the waterfalls from below.
On the Net:
National Sept. 11 Memorial: http://www.national911memorial.org
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)