Friday, March 7, 2014

Visiting the 911 memorial in New York City

I think we all remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard about the devastating attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  It was horrific watching these huge towers crumble to the ground knowing the huge loss of innocent lives. None of us could comprehend how human beings could be so evil.  My heart ached for the innocent people on that plane who thought they were going on a business or pleasure trip with no idea they were being used as such a destructive weapon, the terrified people in the buildings who jumped to their deaths rather than burn, their devastated family members coping with such a tragic loss and the brave firefighters, police and dogs who lost their lives saving others. 

In 2005 I had wandered past the demolition/construction zone of the World Trade Center site.  I must admit I hadn't followed the progress too closely - hearing vaguely of a tower to "replace" the World Trade Center.  When a few friends suggested I go there I decided to do it. 

I booked online here.  The pass is free but you pay a two dollar processing fee. You can also donate however much you want on top of the two dollars and it goes to the victims' family.  I chose to do this.

The nearest subway station is City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge - as per usual I got a bit misplaced but finally found my way to the ticket pick up site on Vesey St.  There is a shop there where you can buy all sort of souvenirs...the proceeds go to the victims' families.   From there I was given directions to the actual site which was about six blocks away.

On the way I passed by the 911 Firefighters monument mounted on a wall...

From there I carried on to the entrance...

This is one of the two fountains that were created from the base of the original towers.  Thirty foot waterfalls cascade into the pools.   The museum (not opened yet on my visit) is in the background.  Still a construction site.

This was emotional for me as I stood on the top of one of the towers in the Spring of 1999. Now this is it... I still can't get my head around it.
Names of all the 2001 and 1993 attacks on the WTC are inscribed in bronze around the perimeters of both pools.  Family members/friends are invited to place flowers on victims birthdays.....

The soon to be completed Freedom tower. with the museum in the foreground.  
I imagine the area is pretty in the summer.
  Visiting on a cold winter's day had its advantages.  No line ups.  Once you go through security there is quite a long walk until you get to the memorial area.  

I found visiting this memorial very moving and emotional -I am very glad I went.  Highly recommended.  Just very sad it has to be there at all....


Sammi Egan said...

I am determined to go here one day. A girl named Samantha Egan and her twin sister died in the twin towers. I wrote a message on their memorial page when I found out, and have been determined to visit since. She uncannily had blue eyes and blonde hair. It really freaked me out. One day I will visit there and find their names.

Laurie said...

Wow Sammi...that is very spooky. Yes I can see why you want to visit.