Sunday, September 6, 2015

The National 9-11 Memorial Museum



When I visited New York City this summer to attend some family functions, a few of the places I wanted to see that were not yet open when I lived there was the One World Trade Center Observatory (click here to see that post), and the 9-11 Memorial Museum. I have written a 9-11 blog post every year since my blog began in 2007, as it was a day I will always remember and an anniversary I feel should remain as a solemn tribute to those lost. The museum commemorates the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001, in which 2,507 civilians, 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers, 55 military personnel were killed, and also the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, which killed six civilians. (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on.)


The 9-11 Memorial Museum is located at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed by the terrorist attacks. There are Memorial Waterfalls in the approximate footprints of the destroyed towers, and the names of those that perished in the towers are inscribed around the water falls (click here to see a post about the Memorial Waterfalls).  The Museum opened on May 21, 2014 and has been visited by millions of people so far. My husband and I spent six hours in the museum, as we wanted to read every placard, listen to all the recordings, watch all of the videos and spend time looking at all the artifacts.  I would suggest if you want to visit the museum someday that you purchase your admission ticket(s) online,  and visit early in the day.

All photos in this collage taken of photos inside the 9-11 museum

The Twin Towers were a large part of the New York City skyline, and over 50,000 people came to work in their 12 million square feet of office space, including my husband who worked in 7 World Trade Center. Many New Yorkers watched the towers being built in the late 1960's and early 1970's, never dreaming they would see them destroyed that fateful day in 2001.  I know there are still people who cannot bear to return to Lower Manhattan because of the traumatic memories of that day, and I respect their feelings.  I also know there were many, many controversies about the museum during the years of its construction and opening. The tragic events of 9-11, and its aftermath, left heartaches and turmoil for the families involved and many of them could not agree on how the tragedy should be displayed and memorialized.
Although I spent much of my visit to the 9-11 Museum in tears, I was very grateful I visited it.  There will soon be a generation of adults who were not yet born when these events happened, and I believe the museum will be a future reminder of what was, and what was lost, and the innocent victims who went to work one day and never returned home.  We must never forget!


Most of the 9-11 Museum is 70 feet below ground, and the first objects one sees as you ride down the escalators is two tridents that remained standing from the Twin Towers.


The story and timeline of the events of 9-11 are explained in placards and the sights of bent and shredded steel that once comprised the towers shows the impact of their destruction.


There are many exhibits to see, videos to watch and voices to hear of people involved in the events. A portion of the museum does not allow photography, which I did not realize at first, until a young visitor told me so.


Some of the building artifacts recovered--the brass World Trade Center buildings signs, a portion of the antenna that was on tower two, an elevator motor, one of the fire engines destroyed as the building fell.


The large slurry wall that holds back the Hudson River and the last standing column.


The Vesey Street stairs,which are now called the "Survivor Stairs."   They were located on the northernmost section of the World Trade Center Plaza. To reach these stairs to get away from the towers on 9-11, many survivors had to run across the plaza, dogging falling debris from the North Tower.  When my husband worked in Tower 7,  I often waited for him at the bottom of these steps so that we could go home together, so it was poignant for me to see them again in the museum.


Another poignant sight for me was this wall, that contains a quote from Virgil.


The blue squares make up a mosaic of different shades blue. They represent the beautiful blue sky that most New Yorkers remember that made up the sky on the morning of September 11, before the terrorist attacks began.  Upon closer examination this wall, on the lower right, was a plaque that states: "Reposed behind this wall lies the remains of many who perished on the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001."  These are the remains of those that could notbe identified by today's methods.  It is a very solemn sight to see and I stopped to say a prayer.



 In this area there are also walls filled with the photos of all the people who were lost on 9-11, and touch screens to read the story of each person.  There is a darkened room in which you can sit and hear a recording of the names of each person and memories about them from family members. My husband and I spent a lot of time here looking up the people we knew who perished that day and said a prayer for each of them.


The 9-11 Memorial Museum also contains uplifting stories how New York City and our nation came together in unity to remember and honor those lost, and to revitalize patriotism.   Click on to enlarge the photos mosaic above to read two of them.


I was happy to see that the entire World Trade Center area was thriving again.  It was full of visitors and new construction that was in progress and already completed.  Life and progress goes on, but it is also good to look back and remember. I felt that the National 9-11 Memorial Museum allowed me to do just that. It was a very powerful experience.  

The world today is full of tragic events--famine, wars, persecution, prejudice, poverty, and abuse. If only we could all work together, each and every day in our best way to make the world a better place to conquer hate and evil.  A dream perhaps, but as Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."  It is up to each and every one of us!


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35 comments:

Parsimonious Perfection said...

Such a touching post, Pat! We went a couple of years ago and I was immediately overwhelmed with emotion. Thank you for sharing with your readers.

Lorrie said...

I'll very likely never visit NYC, and I'm always pleased to see posts like yours that tell about the city. This was such a personal visit for you, as a former New Yorker. Emotions would run high. I will certainly never forget that day, where I was, and what I was doing when I heard the news. A beautiful memorial. Thank you for sharing.

ladyfi said...

The Memorial Museum wasn't yet built when I was in New York - so glad I could see it though through your wonderful photos.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the tour. I hope to visit the next time I get to NY.

diane b said...

A very touching post. It looks a wonderful museum/memorial. It must have been heart wrenching for you specially knowing some of those who died. I had no idea so many rescue people were also killed. It was just being constructed when we were there so it has been wonderful to visit through your post and photos.

Gracie said...

Too bad it wasn't there when I visited NY...Very emotional Pat, thanks for sharing.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, what a great post. Sept 11, 2001 will be a day I never forgetand I only watched it on the news that day. I can only imagine how the people of NYC felt on that day. I wish the world could conquer all the hate and evil. The museum is beautifully done and I love the new World Trade Center. Great Gandhi quote! Have a happy new week ahead!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Very touching post Pat. This must have been really emotional for you to write, considering your husband worked in Tower 7. You are so right. It won't be long before we have a whole new generation who wan't alive when this happened. Thank you for taking the time to post this fabulous reminder that we should never forget that day. I know I won't.
Sam

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

I remember that day well. From that moment on, I have never felt as safe as I once did.

Thanks for celebrating Blue Monday's 7th blogiversary.

Linda Kay said...

Pat, such a wonderful tribute to the museum and the memories it holds for you. I enjoyed hearing from someone who had a really close connection to the event, as those of us who were in the midwest were so far removed. It was beyond the imagination of most of us that anyone could cause so much destruction in our country. We have in Fredericksburg the Admiral Nimitz museum of the Pacific war. Those times are now forgotten by most who are still living, but also such a tragic time in history.

Cathy Keller said...

As always you have taken me on a personal photo journey. You make me feel as if I was there with you! Thank you so much. Happy Labor Day to you!

happywonderer.com said...

Glad you were able to visit. 9/11 will always be a sobering day. I will never forget, either...

Pamela S said...

What a wonderful post. Your photography is so amazing. Thank you

NC Sue said...

Marvelous photography, and so timely with 9/11 just around the corner. We can never afford to forget.
Thank you for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/09/allium-glorious.html

Vee said...

You bless your readers with your words and photos. I will probably never visit NYC again and we try to talk our NYC niece out of living there, but to see this memorial might be the one thing I'd like to witness. It must have been especially meaningful for you and your husband having had such close ties and friends lost. We certainly do not forget.

Barb said...

Thank you for this tour and your touching words, Pat. Our family lost a dear friend, a college buddy of our sons, who helped to build our CO house before he went on to his real vocation as an aerospace engineer. He was not yet 30 years old, newly married, and he had just completed a meeting in the Pentagon and was flying back to CA when terrorists took over the plane and crashed it into the Pentagon. We can never forget that awful day in our Nation's history.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Emotional for you to tour my friend and emotional to read your post. I think we all know someone touched by this disaster, reaching into Canada as well. I pray there will never be something this terrible again.
Thanks for joining Mosaic Monday Pat.

Barbara F. said...

Excellent post, Pat. And yet folks I know who were here but were not directly affected, feel it should be forgotten. I disagree.

Donna said...

It is wonderful to see life there now...quite a memorial. I have not been to NYC since this was built...someday i will make the trip and shed my tears for those lost again....thanks for sharing this special place.

Ida said...

I don't think I'll ever forget that day. Seeing your post brings tears again. I will never understand the "why" of this horrible and tragic event. I do know it made a lot of us stronger people and I hope that continues and we as a nation will stand strong.

Margaret Adamson said...

a very senitively written post with great images. Many thanks

Tanya Breese said...

your post gives me chills....i have been wanting to see the memorial...i imagine it is a very emotional place to see in person...

Patrick weseman said...

A very nice post. Thank you for taking me through it.

http://csuhpat1.blogspot.com/2015/09/haywards-japanese-garden.html

Ciao Chow Linda said...

A truly moving post, Pat. I was almost in tears reading it and remembering that day. I went to the twin towers quite often in my job and as a reporter, covered Mayor Giuliani and the aftermath of events following the attacks. I was not prepared to go back to see the site since the museum and observation deck opened, but I think it's time. Like you, I'm sure I'll be crying through most of it, but it's something that needs to be remembered forever. The quote from Virgil is particularly poignant.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Thank you for this great insight into the 9-11 Memorial. It was not up the last time we were in NY City and we are planning to go again and visit it. We did see the fountain area and some names inscribed....that was 2010.

Rajesh said...

The design of the building is amazing.

podso said...

You have shown more about this solemn tribute than I have yet seen, so I appreciate it, I do hope to visit someday. It's hard to believe it's 14 years this week. It's interesting to try and remember what our country was like before that, but it certainly has impacted our lives.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Oh I'll never forget that day....first we saw it on the news then were outside of my office when Flight 93 was going over....for a few minutes we thought the entire country was under attack or something

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Thanks for taking us back, Pat. It may be 14 years...but seems like yesterday! We will never forget...

Sheila said...

Pat, you have shared such an amazing place with us. What touched me greatly was reading about the color of the sky installation and the touch screen with the photos and stories of each person who died. I think this memorial is a wonderful tribute to those who lost their lives that day which has changed us all no matter where we live. We do need to change personally to see the changes we wish to see. Thank you Pat.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Grateful that you shared this Pat. I don't know if we'll ever get to visit this and seeing it through your eyes is wonderful. It makes it very personal and emotional that you share your feelings as a person who lived ans worked there and knew some of the people. Beautifully written tribute and as always your tours are almost as if I were there with you.

Rue said...

I don't know how you both did it. I was practically in tears reading this, so I can't even imagine being there and I didn't even personally know anyone that died. Although I did live in Virginia at the time and I do have friends that lost someone they loved.

I always watch the footage of that day on the anniversary. It's my way of paying respect and to never forget.

(((hugs)))
rue

Latane Barton said...

On a recent trip to New York I chose not to visit the site. My son-in-law had recently changed his job from Cantor-Fitzgerald to another location when the towers went down. I guess it was just too close to home for me.

Al said...

I didn't realize your husband had worked in Tower 7 - you must have had many close connections to this terrible day. The last time I was in NYC I visited this memorial and I've got a post ready for Friday morning, but the museum wasn't open yet. I spent my teenage years in the NY suburbs and thinking of the day can still bring tears to my eyes.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great post. I intend to go to the memorial sometime. I am not sure I could go through the museum. I have been to the memorial of the Oklahoma City Bombing several times but I haven't been able to go through the museum. The things that people do to each other is just horrifying.