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Visiting the 9/11 Memorial in New York City

July 5, 2013

P1000301It’s sobering to stand where one of the Twin Towers once stood—to stand at the wall of a 9/11 Memorial pool and look over the waterfalls and down at the center void instead of up at a 110-floor building. The Memorial currently consists of two walled pools, each set in the footprint of one of the Twin Towers. Thirty-foot waterfalls cascade from the walls into the pools, descending into the center void.

On the walls are the names of the 9/11 victims. Names are arranged so friends’ names can be together. The memorial honors the 2,983 men, woman and children who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993, which included more than 400 first responders.

The Survivor Tree is a popular exhibit. This Caliery pear tree was planted in the plaza in the 1970s. Its damaged eight-foot-tall stump was found in the wreckage of Ground Zero. It was nursed back to health in a New York City park and grew to be 30 feet, sprouting new branches and flowering in springtime, speaking of hope and the future. In March 2010, the tree was uprooted again by severe storms, but it survived. In December 2010, the tree was returned to the Twin Towers site, where it is supported by guide wires as it takes root again.

The World Trade Center will be rebuilt and include the Memorial and Museum, commercial office space, retail space and connections to public transit. A building called 1 World Trade Center is planned and at 1,776 feet will be the tallest building in the U.S. The Twin Towers were 1,360 feet tall and were the tallest buildings in New York City.

Four of us visited the site in June 2013. Security is similar to an airport—we and our suitcases were scanned. A wheelchair was provided for our team member who had a walking stick. At present, reservations are necessary because of nearby construction. In the future, there will be open access from all sides. The 9/11 museum will open next year.

I’m glad I visited the site, although it’s a bit hard to find and a bit hard to navigate around the construction. To learn more about the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, visit

Visiting the site makes the survivors’ losses more real to me. I wonder how the families who lost fathers and mothers, children, spouses, sisters and brothers, and other loved ones are doing. My wish for them is that they are moving forward with hope.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2013 7:22 am

    Yeah I also was there in June and security is intense hey? Same with the empire state where i had to leave my little camera tripod with security.

  2. July 5, 2013 12:23 pm

    Thanks for the description … sounds like a very well done memorial. Nice to think of the survivor tree – hope it re-roots itself again!

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