At the beginning of October we visited the 9/11 memorial. My aunt had some extra tickets so my mom and I hitched a ride and took the opportunity to see it in person.
I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I wanted to go one day to pay my respects. Let me just say that this place is amazing in many many ways.
Here is the new World Trade center (or Freedom Tower). It's a really cool building! It does not stand where the old buildings were. It's just off to the side.
If you plan on going, you need tickets. They are free but they try to keep it organized, etc. It is VERY structured to get in. It was not a hassle, just different sets of lines, security checkpoints, etc.
Here was a sign showing a map of the place. They have electronic directories of everyone's names to help you locate someone specific.
Now the mood is very interesting when you walk in. It's quiet. Very quiet. Even with hundreds of people there, it was very still. No one is laughing or joking. I saw a few people hovering over names and crying. I think that's when it hit home. This is a massive grave. The size of these waterfalls is amazing, and does make you realize how large these buildings were.
Here is the lone surviving tree from September 11th. They relocated it to another part of the city until it was replanted here.
Then there are the names. So many names. My aunt and uncle knew quite a few people who died that day so it was hard to hear them say so many times "Oh remember him? He went to our church. Oh yes these two brothers worked together and knew they were going to die so they called their siblings". Just SAD. However, it needs to be heard. We walked around both waterfalls completely.
It was also hard to see "and unborn child" written next to their mothers names. Those tiny lives that never got to breathe their first breath.
Someone had made little paper cranes and set them around. I just thought it was pretty and a sweet gesture.
Here is a close up of the new building. Love the flag hanging!
My mom and I both felt kind of funny posing for a picture in front of these waterfalls. It's like you are not happy they exist for the reason they do, but we also wanted a snapshot that we were there.
The 9/11 museum will not open until next year, however I took some pics of the outside as well as an original steel beam that will be inside of it.
After we left we went to the 9/11 mini museums/gift shops. Again the mood is very somber and quiet. We walked inside and it was DEAD quiet. Not a sound. They had a few interesting remnants from 9/11 to look at.
First a firefighter's hat:
Also a wallet of a man who died that day. They found his wallet and wedding ring. There was a sweet story about how he kept a $2 bill in his wallet always and his wife refused to believe he had died until she saw that $2 bill and knew he was gone.
Overall it was a good experience but very emotional. I would like to go again when the museum opens to see that as well.