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LOWER MANHATTAN — Officials were setting up early in the morning ahead of Thursday’s dedication of a new 9/11 memorial honoring the hundreds of thousands who are sick or have died due to breathing in toxins from Ground Zero after the 2001 terrorist attack.

Construction for the 9/11 Memorial Glade started late last year. The memorial forms a pathway that’s 8 feet wide and 14 feet long, with six large stones, specifically designed to look bruised but not broken, symbolizing strength and the human spirit.

Thursday was chosen for the dedication as it marks the 17th anniversary of the formal end to recovery efforts after the attack.

The memorial’s dedication is happening as many fight to keep the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund open, which is set to expire next year.