Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ground Zero

You know, there are some times in life that leave you speechless.

Like September 11, 2001.

 Anyone over the age of 8 at the time will likely always remember where they were when they heard the news. I had just come upstairs from my bedroom in a house I lived in on my college campus. One of my house mates had the t.v. on and filled me in on what had happened, though most of it was speculation at that point.

I stood there speechless. I'm not sure I moved for quite some time. I ditched my 8:00 class because I couldn't peel myself away from the t.v. I had an awful exam at 9:00 that the profs chose not to cancel, because they feared the aftermath was only going to get worse. Besides, we all had already studied.

That day changed the world. It changed the course of history. The number of times I've had my bags checked, been patted down, wanded, passed through metal detectors, had to remove my shoes, belt, cell phone and camera on this trip alone attest to it.

It scarred me. It terrified me. But these people over here on the East Coast... they lived it. One guy I spoke to was in his car in stop and go traffic trying to get into New York City and he watched both planes hit the towers. Almost everyone here knows someone who died, or at least knows someone who knows someone who died. Everybody here has a story to tell when asked about that day. 

It was our first stop on our day into the city. Our train went right underneath where the towers once stood. In fact, out the window of the train I saw construction crews working.

Here's a picture I snapped while the gate to the site was open. 

This is what one of the new towers will look like.

I was actually quite disappointed at first because there were fences up all around the site and I couldn't see anything. I had expected to see some sort of reflection of what had happened on that very site.

But, as we were walking past the site we saw a sign in store front window that said something about 1 9/11 Memorial Preview, so we went inside. 

There were giant descriptions and time-lines of the events of that day. 

And there were displays like these.

And there were pictures and stories and videos throughout. The gallery was almost silent despite the fact it was full of people. Each and every one of us trying to grasp the magnitude of the events described. I spent the entire time I was there fighting back tears... almost 9 years later. 

This is an aerial shot of the construction site.
And this is a scale model of what is being constructed. There will be lots of tall buildings built on the site, but there will be two reflecting pools built in the Twin Towers foot-prints. These pools will have the names of those lost engraved in the stone surrounding the pool. 

May we never forget 9/11.

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