Lauren’s Garden

Lauren’s Garden

I was walking around the downtown Historic District when I came across Market Square. People were relaxing and enjoying the pretty spring day or having lunch outside at Niko Niko’s. It was an inviting scene. I was admiring the fountain and flowers directly in front of me as I entered the square and then noticed a small bust sculpture on my left.

Laurens Garden, Houston

Market Square, Houston

At a different time I might not have paid much attention, but on that day I walked over for a closer look. I was moved to learn that the bust portrayed Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, a former Houston resident who died on Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

Laurens Garden, Houston

Lauren's Garden, Houston

After the attacks, Lauren’s parents started the Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas Foundation, which supports charitable programs and organizations that were of interest to her. The foundation worked with the City of Houston to open this memorial in 2010.

Laurens Garden, Houston

As the sidewalk plaque reads, Lauren’s Garden is a tribute to “… all who were lost in the attacks of September 11, 2001”.

Laurens Garden, Houston

There are 3,000 pebbles in the fountain symbolizing the number of people who died on 9-11. The vine sculpture at the back represents growth and life.

Later, as I looked up information about the memorial, I learned that Lauren had been living in San Rafael, California, north of San Francisco, with her husband at the time of her death at age 38. There is a memorial for Lauren here, too. Marin General Hospital in nearby Greenbrae named a birthing room after her. Lauren was three months pregnant when she perished in the crash.

These are fitting and moving tributes to Lauren Catuzzi Grandcola as well as all those who died on 9-11. Yet, I wouldn’t have known about either of them or learned about Lauren if I hadn’t taken that extra few minutes in Houston. Not only do the famous memorials have something to tell us, there are tributes and messages in places where we might not expect to find them.

Laurens Garden, Houston

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18 thoughts on “Lauren’s Garden

  1. Jeff Titelius

    What a wonderful tribute to the lives of all those lost on 9-11. Lucky for all of us, your readers, you took a few moments extra to share your findings about Lauren and the all those who perished – they will be remembered forever!

    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks, Jeff. It makes me wonder about how many other memorials there are in the U.S. like this one — dedicated in honor of one of the victims of 9-11, but in memory of all.

  2. Steve

    It’s nice when a memorial can blend in with the surroundings, yet still have enough presence to catch people’s eyes. Also nice to see other people stopping to read about the memorial in your pictures. It’s a great tribute to those who died.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Yes, Market Square was a such a nice, peaceful place to contemplate the significance of the memorial and remember.

  3. Tonya @ The Traveling Praters

    I always stop to read memorials. I don’t know if it’s because I hate to miss something or because I’m just nosy. 🙂 I’m glad I take the time. Not only because I feel that the memorials should not be ignored, but because of what we learn from their tributes and symbolism.

    My son and I visited the Temporary Flight 93 memorial last year weeks before the the permanent memorial opened. The area was so solemn and hushed that I got tears in my eyes just imagining the horrible scene that had once occured in such a peaceful property.

    1. Cathy Post author

      I can understand how you’d be so moved at the Flight 93 memorial. It’s almost difficult to take it all in when you’re in a place like that, isn’t it?

  4. Mary @ The World Is A Book

    This looks like a wonderful tribute and I liked how every aspect of the design from the vine sculptures to the pebbles were all thought out to represent something. We were in NYC last month and visited the 9/11 memorial. It was a very emotional experience.

  5. Abby

    Aw. 🙁 I was in NYC on 9-11, working as a reporter. My memories of that day are about the magnitude of it all. Interesting (looking for the right word) to read about a community so affected by one of the lost.

    1. Cathy Post author

      No matter where we were on that day, it was hard to believe it was really happening. But I’d think that even being right there, it must have seemed so surreal.

  6. Leigh

    What a beautiful garden as a memory to one lost so young. I knew one fellow who died in the towers; my daughter babysat his kids for three weeks and had only been home about 10 days when 9-11 happened. It hits home that much more when you know someone,

    1. Cathy Post author

      That really does bring it closer to home. How very sad for the family of that man and people like you and your daughter who knew him. I didn’t know anyone personally, but whenever I see a photo of someone who died, I almost feel like I did.

    1. Cathy Post author

      So true, Nancie. I certainly wasn’t expecting to find this memorial. I hope others will look for it when they’re in Houston, too.

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