Visiting Ground Zero (5YTL)

I had the opportunity last week to visit New York City.

The 4-day weekend was precipitated by broadway tickets to a play, but we managed to fit in a number of other attractions while there.  It was a great time to share with family and friends, and we all enjoyed our visit.

On day two, we made our way to Ground Zero, where the towers fell on September 11, 2001.  I have seen plenty of photos and seen several pieces written about the monuments, but nothing compares to the sobering impact of seeing this in person.  We all know the story of what happened on that day, and I’m certain that you, as do I, remember where you were when the news came.

Being there in person is a quiet, reverent, reflective experience.  There are signs posted that help visitors to understand what behavior is deemed appropriate (and there are security personnel there to help remind).  Visitors are encouraged to be quiet, humble, respectful, and to honor those who died as a result of the attacks.  The names of the fallen are etched in heavy metal bands that surround both structures.

The structures themselves are the precise footprints of each of the towers.  They are comprised of thick walls where water quietly flows continuously.  It is eerily silent.  That water, which initiates at waist level for onlookers flows over those thick walls and downward.  Given the massive footprint of each structure, this creates a spectacle where water flows downward all around into a massive well.  In the center of each well is another squarely shaped descent into an unseeable abyss, where the water again falls in perpetuity.

A sign posted nearby tells us that roses are placed on the names of victims on their birthdays.  As you read, you turn to notice that several yellow roses are protruding from etched names all around the monument.  It is honorable to acknowledge the birthdays of the victims, and it paints a vivid picture of the oft quoted “Never Forget.”

This was a must-do for my trip to New York.  It was an emotional experience that I was privileged to have just days before this 17th anniversary of such a tragic event.  We are fortunate to live in a country that allows us much freedom and opportunity.  We are fortunate to be alive today and able to tell the stories of those who went before us.  In honoring our loved ones who have passed, let’s never forget and never stop telling their stories.

As we show our respect, share photos, post homages to those fallen, let’s give honor to our words to “Never Forget.”  Tell someone a story today and share a memory of someone who you remember.  Tomorrow Begins Today.

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