PADUA, Italy - Padua, a city known for its visibly rich history, architecture, and art hosted the 19th anniversary and commemoration of the September 11th terrorist attacks on U.S. soil with a wreath- laying ceremony at one of the most contemporary monuments within the city, Memoria e Luce (Memory and Light) on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020.Representatives from the U.S. Army Garrison Italy, U.S. Consulate General in Milan, government officials from Padua and the Veneto region, as well as local Italians, gathered while abiding to current COVID-19 safety guidelines, to reflect and pay tribute to the lives lost 19 years ago.“This is a work of art that is very important and is the only one in Europe. In the words of the artist, this monument serves as a space within the city for collective reflection,” said Jason M. De Rosa, acting U.S. consul general in Milan, Italy.“Unfortunately, this year, both of our countries are suffering from a new scourge that has affected the entire world and it’s the COVID-19 pandemic. In the moment we share the pain and remember our victims, we appreciate the closeness that Italy has shown us in the most difficult times of our history,” continued De Rosa.The memorial is in a prime location within the city, a highly trafficked area for both locals and tourists alike, with the end goal to routinely be reminded and reflect on the lives that were lost and the blow mankind suffered on that tragic date.“It was an absolute honor to attend the wreath-laying ceremony on behalf of the USAG Italy community. The 9/11 attacks occurred during my first day as a company commander 19 years ago, which has instilled a bigger sense of responsibility to serve and protect the values of our nation,” said Col. Dan Vogel, U.S. Army Garrison Italy commander.The 164 foot tall Memoria e Luce was designed by world renowned architect, Daniel Libeskind, who also spearheaded the design for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, New York, N.Y.The steel and glass monument represent an open book facing the city of New York, and mimic the book held by the Statue of Liberty. The left page holds a twisted steel beam from the wreckage of the South Tower of the World Trade Center, marked with its original number. The beam was donated by the city of New York to the Veneto region in 2005 after its exposition at the 2002 Biennale di Venezia.The monument is illuminated, and if viewed from different angles, it provides various perspectives to include a subtle reminder of the Twin Towers buildings reflecting off the Bacchiglione River.According to Libeskind buildings should tell stories of history and humanity. This monument reminds people of their stories of where they were on 9/11 and provides an opportunity to reflect on the lives lost that day.