Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gound Zero Revisited

I did a long blog post in March of this year about Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center Twin Towers stood in Lower Manhattan in New York City until they were destroyed on September 11, 2001, in a terrorist attack. I also had photos and information in that post about the FDNY Memorial Wall located on the wall of the Engine 10 Ladder 10 firehouse, which is located on Liberty Street, across from Ground Zero on it's south side.

When I was in Manhattan last week I took some new photos to show what is presently going on in that area. As you can see in the photo above there is a large, mainly opaque construction fence all around the Ground Zero perimeter. Large construction cranes are visible, but not much else from this vantage point. The large transparent looking building on the right is the newly rebuilt 7 World Trade Center, which stands in almost the same exact location it did when the entire World Trade complex stood. It was the last building to fall on 9/11, due to fires that weakened it when Twin Tower One collapsed near it.

On 120 Liberty Street stands the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. It contains exhibits of images and artifacts that reveal the events of 9/11, the tragic consequences and the brave response.

Tickets for daily one and a half hour walking tours, that are conducted along the World Trade Center site, can be purchased at the Tribute WTC. The tours are led by people whose lives were profoundly changed by September 11th.
From the Tribute WTC web site:
"Tribute Center Walking Tour Guides are drawn from the September 11th community, (survivors, lower Manhattan residents, recovery workers, volunteers who assisted in recovery and family members). All tours make five stops while traveling around the site. Most of the tour takes place indoors, traveling along the windows of the World Financial Center, looking out onto Ground Zero. Guides share key facts and reveal specific events of the day while weaving their personal experiences of survival, loss, and healing, throughout the tour, giving visitors an unparalleled opportunity to connect with history first-hand."

There was also a tribute to the USS NEW YORK a new US Navy battleship constructed with seven and a half tons of steel from New York City’s fallen World Trade Center. Her motto is: "Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget." It will have its commissioning in the fall of 2009 in a special ceremony and will also have public viewings at that time. The official date of the commissioning ceremony will be announced on the web site.

The next three photos show the view through the Liberty Street side of the construction fence, near the ramp construction crews use to enter.
Click on all photos to enlarge if you wish to see more details.

The Deutsche Bank Building located at 130 Liberty Street, seen in the photo below, was heavily damaged on 9/11 after being blasted by the avalanche of debris, ash, dust and smoke that spread from the collapse of the Twin Towers. The building has been in ruins ever since, and is slowly being demolished floor by floor. Sadly, two firefighters lost their lives there in August 2007 when a seven-alarm fire broke out on the 17th floor of the building. The skyscraper, once 41 stories, had been reduced to 26, with crews removing a floor a week, when the fire broke out and quickly spread to ten floors. The deceased firefighters were among those who responded to the fire, and they were unfortunately trapped and died from suffered severe smoke inhalation.

If you looked at my March blog post, I spoke a lot about the FDNY Ladder Company 10 and FDNY Engine Company 10 that is also located on Liberty Street, and the FDNY Memorial Wall Plaque that was FDNY Memorial Wall, a gift from the law firm of Holland & Knight, to honor members of the New York City Fire Department and the Holland & Knight partner who perished on 9-11-2001.
I was very touched when the creator of the beautiful and informative website dedicated to the FDNY Ten House web site contacted me awhile ago, and asked if he could put a link on his web site to that blog post. This gentleman lives in Indiana and began the web site in 2002 after he made an emotional visit to Ground Zero. He wanted to honor this firehouse and preserve the information he was gathering about it. His story can be read here.

Because of the demolition going on of the Deutsche Bank Building which is near the Ten House, there is now protective scaffolding all around the west side of the firehouse where the inspiring FDNY Memorial Wall plaque is located. That makes it more difficult to view the memorial at this time, but you can see photos both in my March post and the FDNY Ten House web site .

As you can see flowers and personal tributes are still being left at the dedication plaque at the site of the memorial wall .

One new addition to the FDNY Memorial Wall since my last visit was this commemorative plaque containing photos of the 343 firefighters who perished on 9/11.

As we approach Veterans Day in the US we are reminded of the duty and sacrifice of the brave men and women of our armed forces who served to protect and defend us.
I thank them, and pray for all those in the armed forces who are now actively deployed to keep us safe. May God watch over them and our country, and may peace one day prevail!


Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

I still get overcome with emotion when I think of 9/11.

I get the same feeling when visiting the memorials in DC...and while attending Veterans Day programs and parades here in my own hometown.

So many Americans take our country and freedoms for granted!

Thank you Pat for this post!

Anonymous said...

Very nice and informative.


Rhonda said...

I can still remember seeing the planes crash into the buildings not quite believing what I was seeing. Thanks for a lovely post!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Thank you for informing us of the ongoing work at Ground Zero. I appreciate all these wonderful posts that you do about your hometown. It's wonderful that these pieces are being linked to as well; hope that he'll snag this post, too.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
Incredible post! What a wonderful idea of the survivors to man a tour for visitors. It has to be a very emotional place. I'm sure no one knows except survivors, New Yorkers and the people of Pa & DC. It's so important that the story be told for generations to come.
I had no idea you could demo a building one floor at a time. What an interesting concept. Fire fighters are some of the bravest people that exist in my estimation. They should be constantly honored for the heroic work they do daily!
What a great honor that the gentleman wanted to link your site for your info! You are so awesome Pat with the information you collect and just "know" first hand.
Thank you for the incredible post!
Hugs, Sherry

Bo said...

Thank you for caring enough to share these pictures with those of us that can't visit the sights in person...;-) Bo

Kitem said...

It is so interesting, for all of us who are not able to visit in person you are here to share all those informations with us, I didn't know that tours were conducted by local people who survived or helped with the demolition, it is as good for them as it is for the visitor, I didn't know either for the ship, what a beautiful idea.

Tara said...

Ah, know how 9-11 gets to us New Yorkers since it was so in our lives...this is great updating. My son's college in Manhattan has extra tight security-and I think I really like that!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Pat, Thank you for the excellent post! It brought tears to my eyes; it still almost seems unreal. I will go visit the website now.

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Pat, Thank you for sharing the important information and photos with us.
Such a sad day in US history. My husband is in
the USMC and I'm grateful everyday for the work he does.
Happy 233rd Marine Corps Birthday today! ~Melissa

jeanne said...

Pat, what a great story on the sad recovery going on at the Twin Towers location. My four sisters and I visited the site five years ago and the wall was there to see as well. We personally know a young man who perished in the building. The sad part is he was almost out of the building when someone sent his office staff back saying everything was alright. He was talking to my niece's girlfriend when he told her this, and then there was a huge crash and the phone went dead. So very sad. His name in on the wall.

Thank you for a great update on the recovery.


Donna said...

Wow, very nice, Pat. Interesting info about USS New York. Thanks for the update.


Mama said...

Hi Pat, it is raining cats and dogs here in London, so I am catching up with my blog friends, a beautiful post Pat, hope you are well. I have one more week here and am trying to pack in as much as I can, we have the early Christmas lunch planned for Sunday and lots of family/friends visits in between, have a wonderful week, will catch up soon, miss you, big hugs, Kathy

Tracy said...

Oh, Pat...thank you for this post! I still remember that terrible day. We had just returned from a very happy long weekend away, and I'd switched on the tv news to see what has happening in the world since we got home...Will never forget that day, and the many after...such sorrow...Living abroad we don't get much news of what the site looks like now. So thank you for being there and sharing this with us. Happy Day, my friend ((HUGS))

Beverly said...

Pat, thank you so much for sharing this with us. Unfortunately, this is a time that everyone will remember all of their lives. Such a life-changing event in our country - and around the world.

Anonymous said...

We have Rememberance Sunday on the one nearest to the 11th November where vertans and current service people parade and we lay wreaths on senataphs. At 11am on 11th November there is a minute of silence throughout England to remember the dead who gave their lives in WW1 WW2 and since, so that the rest of us can live in freedom.

Strider said...

I didn't know that about the USS NewYork. Great story and motto. Thanks

M.Kate said...

Dearest Pat, for those who lost their lives due to 9/11 will forever be remembered. It is such a sad thing that it had to happened, my prayers will be for them.

Picket said...

Hey Pat...I remember that day so well...I was standing in line at Lowes garden center and someone yelled out there had been a terrorist attack in New York....I got home and Bill & my Dad we glued to the TV...We all 3 sat there disbelief..for days I could not pull myself away from the TV..I just sat there with my hand over my mouth and tears streaming down my face...It is stil too emotional to think about..great post girl..hope you are having a great week!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Another great post Pat, and how awesome for you that there is a link to your blog on that website. But I'm not surprised at all, you do such a beautiful job!
xoxo, Marie

steviewren said...

Excellent post Pat. Thanks.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

That day will be with me forever. I was petrified, trapped (in my office building, with nowhere to go since the city was on lockdown), and overcome with grief for weeks and weeks and weeks.

Such a kind tribute your post was. I hadn't realized all the memorials down there. I rarely go down there, and when I do I still find it eerie.

Susie Q said...

A beautiful post Pat. We visted Ladder Co. 10 when last in NYC...
Thank you for sharing your photos with us.


Lisa B. said...

I echo your sentiments.

Darius T. Williams said...

Awww - thanks for showing these pics!

Linda Lou said...

Thanks for reminding us of the ultimate sacrafice the people of 9/11 made..I was in New York a few years ago and did not want to go to Ground Zero...I thought it would be too painful.

see you there! said...

The photo's are helpful for those like me who aren't there in person. I'm really interested in the USS New York and will look for its completion.


Rue said...

Amen Pat... amen.


Cori G. said...

Hi Pat,
A wonderful post. It's sad to think what man is capable of doing to each other. The scars and wounds that are left behind for many never heal. I think its wonderful that people who were personally affected are brave enough to do the tours.

xo Cori

Gina said...

Wonderful post Pat..thanks for sharing this information! Wishing you a lovely week..Gina xox

Joanne Kennedy said...

So here is another one of your posts that have me sitting here in tears. I would love to go on that walking tour.

Don't you think that on 9/11 the dedication of the ship will be made? Sure would be a great day for it.

How wonderful to have the honor of a link to your post on that mans site.

Thank you for showing the progress of the towers. I've been wondering how things were going there.

That is so sad about the firemen losing their life in that bank building.

The tragic of losing lives still linger on from 9/11.