9/11 Memorial – Take your tissues

I went to the top of the Twin Towers in December, 2000, less than a year later they were gone. When I went to Ground Zero in 2003, it was just a massive cordoned off hole in the ground. I was a sobbing mess by the time I got to the nearby St Paul’s Chapel, where on display are the missing person signs, letters and tribute memorabilia of 9/11.

10 years on,  The 9/11 Memorial is both breathtaking and heart wrenching. A local recommended that I visit at dusk and it was the perfect time to see the Memorial Pools. There are almost 3000 names inscribed in bronze around the 2 Memorial Pools of the people we lost on September 11th, 2001 and February 26th, 1993.

I didn’t see a dry eye in the whole Memorial and its a huge place with crowds of people paying their respects. The architects, builders, local government, community and everyone involved have created a sensitive, respectful place for visitors to remember those who perished. What stood out for me were the number of names listed from the New York City Fire and Police Departments, so many rescuers fell victim to this terrorist act as well.

Later this year the 9/11 Memorial Museum will open but until then there are 2 sites near the Memorial where you can view exhibits, see interviews with family members who lost loved ones on 9/11 and buy souvenirs to support the Memorial, the Fire Brigade and the NYPD.

The new towers, including One World Trade Center, are beginning to take shape at Ground Zero, and life goes on, but it will never be the same.

Things to note:

  • You must prebook your pass to the Memorial, if you are a tourist and don’t have access to a printer you can pick your tickets up beforehand (30mins prior) at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site at 20 Vesey St.
  • Entry via security screening is at the corner of Albany & Greewich Streets
  • There is also a free 9/11 Memorial App that provides info such as the names of all inscribed if you would like to find a particular name on the Memorials.

While I was there I saw posters everywhere advertising the latest 9/11 inspired movie, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close which was quite surreal. New Yorkers seem more open to talking about that day, where they were when the towers hit…


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