New York City, New York
Planning a trip for three people can be challenging, to make it easier we each picked one thing we wanted to see or do. My mother wanted to see a broadway play, I wanted to go to the MoMA and my sister wanted to see the 9/11 Memorial.
I was surprised.
It’s not something I would have chosen as my “one thing” but off we went. I think created a sense of separation because I’m Canadian. I remember hearing the news in Toronto and I remember the fear but I also remember it feeling very distant, maybe to protect myself from the fear that it could happen to me.
But as we walked closer to the area we all felt solemn as it seemed unbelievable that something so terrible could happen on the streets we were walking.
There was a tremendous amount of security to get into the area with metal detectors and guards along the way. I didn’t know what to expect as we were shuffled through a maze of laneways to get to the destination.
Feeling like a herd of cattle the sky opened up.
The area, which is not yet complete, is park-like with two structures each representing a tower. Each square structure has the names of the victims enscribed in bronze around the edge, from there water falls into one reflecting pool, which then falls into another.
There is a sense of peace.
I was worried that a memorial would feel outlandish but the water felt powerful and yet at the same time created a sense of serenity and calm. More trees will be planted and it’s meant to convey hope and renewal. In fact one of the trees that now stands survived the bombing, it was removed and has been replanted.
We walked around to read the named and it really hit home when we saw the yellow roses. These were no longer just names. Someone who cared about them had come to morning and place roses for them.
I’m not sure if everyone felt or understood the soberness. We saw many people having their photo taken next to the monuments. I can only guess that this is a cultural difference and they didn’t understand what they were doing seemed so insensitive in my mind.
The memorial is free to visit, but you need tickets which you can book online. It’s something I’m really glad Ryan wanted to do because I would have never seen this on my own. I no longer feel that sense of distance.