Today the 9/11 Museum in New York City officially opened. In honor of this I decided to write a post about my experience at the memorial in January.
The actual 9/11 Memorial structure consists of 2 large waterfall pools located in the footprints of the original twin towers. Around the perimeter ledge of the pools, each victim’s name is carved out of the metal, and the names of first responding units are embossed on the metal. I was struck by the massive size and void in the Earth due to these pools. To me it really symbolized the void left in the world by the loss of all these lives. I spent some time here in silence honoring those who were killed.
The Survivor Tree is on the memorial site as well. This tree was found severely damaged in the destruction after the attacks, nursed back to health, and returned to the site. It’s a powerful symbol of the spirit of survival, recovery, and life continuing forward.
While the museum was not opened yet, they did have a Visitor’s Center I went in. There were books, films, and momentos for sale, as well as a screen playing several short films about the attacks. I was unexpectedly overcome with emotion here. Listening to the survivors and victims’ families talk about the pain of that day was incredibly difficult. I did not personally lose anyone close to me in the attacks, but I found myself really empathizing with the victims. I took their pain personally. I kept thinking how that could have been any of us. The victims were innocent people going about their daily lives. The one thing they were targeted for is the one thing I have in common with all of them. We are all Americans.
As difficult as this was for me, I am really looking forward to visiting again the next time I am in New York City to see the finished Museum.
-Reserving your tickets online will save you a LOT of time when you actually get there. The tickets are free, you only have to pay a $2 service fee for getting them online. It is worth the $2 to not have to wait in line to get one the day of.
-You understandably have to go through security when you get there, so plan accordingly.
Have you visited a place that had a surprising emotional effect on you before?