9/11 Memorial & Museum

Last Friday, I had the opportunity (and privilege) of visiting and touring the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. To say I was blown away is a true understatement. It took my breath away and has preoccupied my mind since. Mind you, I did not live in NYC during the 9/11 attacks, nor did I know anyone who was directly affected.  As a result, I had never been overly emotional about it.  But visiting the museum changed everything.

 

Freedom Tower

The power of the tallest building in the United States, The Freedom Tower. An eerie view from the memorial looking up to the sky.

9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial with the names of the victims along the edges of the pool.

The void

The void

 

It is a bizarre feeling, touring a museum that is dedicated to an event in recent history — not from 40 years ago, but present time. I was an adult (or so I thought I was as a recent college graduate) and remember the day and the aftermath clearly. And yet, 9/11 is not a past event; terrorism and acts of violence continue to be a current part of our everyday life.  So, the museum is a visit to a horrible act of the past, but one that continues to persist and be a part of the modern world. Eerie and frightening.

 

The plaza and its trees.

The plaza and its trees.

 

The memorial is beautiful — two big pools with waterfalls in the footprints of the two World Trade Towers. But it is the museum itself which left me teary eyed, speechless, and emotional. The museum honors the nearly 3,000 people who were killed during the World Trade Center attacks. The museum is massive, powerful, and overwhelming, encompassing 110,000 square feet.  The memorial and museum together cost $700 million to build.

 

The grand museum.

The grand museum.

New York

New York; people, trees, buildings, sky.

 

Inside the museum, in the footprint of the south tower, there is a detailed memorial with photos and information on each victim. In the north tower, there are displays on the attacks and rebuilding efforts. In both of the towers, there are alcoves with movies, photographs, audio, and graphic artifacts. All the videos that I watched were profoundly moving and emotionally exhausting. Each of the rooms have (beautiful) boxes holding tissues — which most people (including myself) needed to use. In between the two galleries, there is open space with large items, tributes, artwork and large scale artifacts from the buildings.

 

Inside past security.

Inside past security.

Looking outside.

Looking outside.

A photo of New York City, 5 minutes before the attack. This photo is the start of the exhibition, tracking the day from start to finish.

A photo of New York City, 15 minutes before the attack. This photo is the start of the exhibition, tracking the day from start to finish.

Heading downstairs to the various exhibitions.

Heading downstairs to the various exhibitions.

Smoke

Smoke

 

I was given the tour by our good friend, Lynn Rasic, the Executive Vice President of the 9/11 Memorial External Affairs. She led me through the museum for 2 hours, recounting many details — a picture of the youngest victim (2 year old en route to Disneyland) — the videos that impacted her the most, the story of the design. Her dedication to the project, which dealt with the pain and suffering of the families that lost loved ones, to the hope she saw from young firemen touring the museum, to the kindness shared by people during this tragedy, is remarkable. She has worked on the project for the last 13 years, from start to finish. In Lynn’s descriptions during the tour, one could see her passion and dedication to the memorial — remembering the past and learning from it. Thank you, Lynn (and sorry I was so emotional that I forgot to take a picture!). The museum is a moving experience, one that I am looking forward to going through again.

 

“No Day Shall Erase You From The Memory Of Time” —Virgil Aeneid

 

The famous quote, made out of steel from the building of the World Trade Center. The artwork is painted paper done by artist .......

The famous quote, made out of steel from the building of the World Trade Center, surrounded by blue painted squares. The artwork is by artist Spencer Finch.

The blue "tiles" represent the blue sky that was present on the morning of 9/11. Each tile is for the nearly 3000 victims that lost their lives -- each blue is a unique and different shade.

The blue “tiles” represent the blue sky that was present on the morning of 9/11. There is a tile for each of the nearly 3000 victims that lost their lives — each blue is a unique and different shade.

Come together

Come together

Steel posts

The juxtaposition of the two giant rusted steel beams rescued from the rubble, against the new Freedom Tower outside.

Beauty

Beauty

Each day, an employee of the memorial, goes outside and places a white rose for the people whose birthday is that day.

Each day, an employee of the memorial goes outside and places a white rose on the nameplate of every victim celebrating a birthday.

New York, New York. What a beauty.

On my drive home…..New York, New York. What a beauty.

 

The 9/11 museum is a must-see. Emotional, overwhelming, and educational. If you live in New York, you must visit it. If you are visiting New York, you must go. MUST SEE.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

Blog Home Page

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someone

Josie Girl

8 Comments

  1. Beautiful recap. I can’t believe how long ago it was. The day is still ingrained in my head.

  2. I remember exactly where I was…as I am sure most people do. This memorial looks beautiful and is now on my list of things I must do. So very emotional, thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you for posting this! I’ve been dying to go but have not had a chance, so it was nice to get a preview. Such an important thing for all New Yorkers to try to do.

  4. I got emotional just from reading this. Thank you for posting, I’m planning on visiting the memorial soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *