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Reflections of 911 Memorial

My daughter was an intern in Manhattan this summer, so my wife, and I planned a long weekend into the city – a museum weekend to ensure she got plenty of culture during her stay! First stop was “The 911 Memorial Site and Museum.” My wife worked across the street at #3 World Trade Center for many years, and we were both a bit anxious for a return to the site. It brought me back to a place I have not been to since 1982 when I started in Real Estate in Lower Manhattan. In those days, I would frequently canvass the twin towers, running down the staircases to avoid the security guards and any solicitation restrictions.

The museum far exceeded my expectations. So many memories of those glorious buildings, and then picture after picture of those same steps that ultimately saved some 2,000 people and unfortunately trapped so many others on that day in September when the towers were destroyed. Those buildings were special to so many people, the tallest set of buildings around the world in 1976 when they were completed.

The Memorial is sacred ground as you walk down some forty feet into the bedrock that NY was built on and which holds the remains of so many lost. We did the escorted walking tour which took about an hour and then spent another hour in the section of the museum where so many small and incredibly meaningful artifacts are housed. Around the perimeter of the interior museum are vehicles – fire engines, ambulances and sections of stairs, toward one end is the lower half of the single communications tower from the very peak of building one – a section that is over 23,000 pounds fell from the sky that day onto the streets of the financial district – and there is was preserved. It was an emotional tour, clearly everyone in our group was reflecting back on where they were that day, who they watched the horrific scene unfold with and their own attempts to contact their loved ones to ensure their safety. I asked my guide, who was exceptional, if delivering this tour, day after day, became in any way routine. His answer to me was that even though he thought he would get used to it, every tour group he leads brings new questions and reflections, and this made it so fresh every time as others shared their stories, it continues to feel emotional for him every day.

I encourage everyone who visits New York to put this on their agenda. It took us some time to decide we were ready, and maybe escorting my daughter made it a bit easier for me – I could be more of a teacher allowing me to feel a little less of the pain. Kudos to the many groups that provided their input on how this museum was to come together – between the downstairs and the reflection pools above – it is by far one of the finest memorials I have ever seen. 
Posted: 9/8/2016 9:37:29 AM

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