We all know where we were when the planes struck. Some of us were across the country, some across the world, and some right next door. We all know someone who was deeply affected- a loved one killed, a friend who died, a coworker who didn’t make it home, a friend who mourned a loss, a hero who helped saved lives. There will never be a September 11th that passes where we don’t take pause, take time to reflect.
On a recent visit to New York City, I toured the 9/11 Memorial site. I was not quite sure what to expect. Could a memorial evoke the intense emotions and feelings that so many experience when the numbers 9/11 are mentioned. Upon first entering the Memorial I was not so sure, until I was given a moment or two to reflect. Reflect on the magnitude of the event, the amount of people who died, the size of area that was destroyed.
The Memorial site is dominated by 2 large pools in the exact location of each of the World Trade Center Towers. Surrounding the pools is stark granite etched with the names of the victims of the 9/11 and 1993 attacks. The placement of the names are arranged in a meaningful manner reflecting where they were on 9/11 and their relationships they shared with others that also perished.
Where the buildings stood is a magnificent 30 foot square waterfall that drops into a pool that then drops into an abyss. Quite simple, yet extremely powerful and symbolic.
Beyond the pools is the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It houses exhibits about the events of the day, background details prior to 9/11 as well as the international response following the event. There is also an exhibit dedicated to the lives lost.
The most stunning aspect I found to the memorial are the reflections. Not just the chance to reflect on the event and all that happened to lead up to it, as well as all that has happened following, but I’m talking about the literal reflections. Reflections in the water, reflections in the buildings, reflections at every turn. Literally and metaphorically reflections are everywhere, making the 9/11 Memorial a powerful site for all to visit.