Monday, October 6, 2014

9/11 Memorial & Museum NYC

We have all talked about the tragedy of September 11, 2001 for years, we lived through it, we saw how it changed America forever and still somehow all these years later it is still as heart wrenching as ever. We lived in New York, I have been to Ground Zero many times and I cant tell you the overwhelming feeling that exists just being there, where those awful things happen, the saddest is indescribable. I was at Ground Zero the day Osama Bin Laden was killed, I saw the relief, sense of pride, fear and overwhelming sadness. How could something like this have happened?

There are memorials from this tragic day all over both New York and New Jersey but since being in New Jersey Jason and I had yet to make it over to the Memorial and Museum since it has all been completed and the Freedom Tower went up. We have talked about it a lot and had always intended to go, so last week we bit the bullet and did just that. Jason arrived home early on Tuesday night, showered and changed and we ran up to Exchange place and jumped on the subway to World Trade.

We decided to go to the Museum first and then tour around the fountains. We came out of the subway and I couldn't help but be shocked at the actual size of Freedom Tower! Everyday I see it from across the Hudson as it is literally right outside our apartment but standing underneath it was overwhelming.

As well when you come out of the train station they are in the process of constructing the new World Trade Subway station, it currently looks like this. 

But it will soon look like this...

Amazing right?

We got our tickets and waiting in line for the museum for about 20 minutes which was a lot less time than I had anticipated. There were tons and tons of people there from all over the world. I wont lie I was anxious, I am extremely emotional and just being there you feel this overwhelming sense of loss and sadness, I didn't know how I would feel inside. 

When we went in the 15 minute film was going to begin and they advised if we were interested in seeing it that we go there first, so we did. The film was short and consisted of details of that day from George W. Bush who was the President of the United States at the time, the Mayor of New York at the time Mr. Rudy Giuliani and Condalisa Rice. It was sad, it was awful, the events of that day were and still are entirely unimaginable. People cried, and before we left that theater I already felt this was going to be an emotional experience. 

I must say the museum itself is absolutely incredible, they did a beautiful job with the design. I took a ton of pictures in the areas that allowed us to do so and everywhere else I just took it all in. 

I am going to include pictures but please know that they don't begin to do this place justice, the feelings that you have, the experience that is being there. If you are ever in NYC you must go. 

Part of the museum was constructed using parts from the Twin Towers. 

There were tons of pictures from that day, although they don't give you a true sense of what it looked like it is the best portrayal for those who did not witness the devastation themselves. 

The flight paths of the 4 planes that crashed that day, the two into the Twin Towers, the one that crashed into the Pentagon and the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. 

A memorial that was erected at Ground Zero. 

This was heart wrenching, these were all hand made missing posters that people posted in hopes of finding their loved ones. 

These stairs were survival stairs, these stairs were stairs that lead thousands of people to safety. We were told while viewing them that they were not damaged at Ground Zero but were damaged when they were moved to the museum. 

This wall was art work created by Spencer Finch composed of 2,983 squares to commemorate the individuals killed in the September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 attacks. Each square is a unique share of blue. The piece is called "Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning". 

The above picture is the piece of the Tower circled in picture above. 

This is a motor from an elevator is one of the towers. 

A firetruck that arrived at Ground Zero prior to the collapse of the Twin Towers. 

There was a second of the museum where pictures were not permitted, where videos played of people jumping from the burning towers, where they played recordings of people on those hijacked planes saying goodbye to their loved ones, telling their husbands and wives how much they love them and to make sure their kids knew how much they loved them, that they remembered them. It was those moments that you well up and this lump in your throat appears that you fear may never go away... there are no words. 

You walk through items recovered from Ground Zero, pictures, subways passes, bloody shoes, notes, brief cases, peoples belongings. 

This really happened. 

How is it real? How did so many people perish, so many lives changed forever and not for the better in a matter of minutes. On September 11, 2001 at 8:45am an American Airlines boeing 767 crashed into the North Tower and 102 minutes later the South Tower collapsed. 102 minutes. Saving everyone was impossible, they quickly knew they would not be able to save those above the fire, in the North Tower most likely all of those above the 80th floor. When the South Tower collapsed which was actually the second tower his they knew it was only a matter of time before the North Tower went too. 

Lives were lost, lives were changed forever, America and this world will never be the same. 

I'm not going to lie I fear terrorism, I am scared that the threats people make are real because something like this has happened, I fear bringing kids into a world where things like this happen. Terrorism is real, its scary and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. 

Jason and I left the museum, humbled, sad and extremely grateful for each other and our life. Listening to those audio tapes of people saying goodbye to their spouses, stumbling with their words I couldn't imagine saying goodbye to Jason, what I would tell him. It really makes you think that saying 'I love you' is so very important because you don't want to be in a position to just HOPE someone knew how you felt. 

After leaving the museum we went outside to view the beautiful fountains. Naturally we had seen pictures but were astounded at the actual size and depth of the fountains. They are an absolutely beautiful tribute. 

That is the museum in the background of the last photo.

Without a doubt we will go back, we will go back to walk around and remember. If you are ever in New York this is something you must see and experience. You can also make a donation inside the museum, outside the museum and online, it is naturally for a worthy cause. 

Life was changed for so many that day, and it will never be the same. All these years later it is still important to pay tribute to that, to acknowledge it and to remember. 

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