Last week I was home for a family wedding, and my Dad said he wanted to go into the city (a rare sentence from him) to go to B&H Photo. He also wanted to go to the 9/11 Memorial.
I was hesitant at first, but agreed. It’s something that everyone should experience. And it truly was an experience.
I’ve seen photos of the park and Memorial. I follow the World Trade Center Progress Twitter account. I thought I knew what to expect.
Wrong. We walked in and as I approached the South Pool I was in awe.
The footprints of the former World Trade Center buildings are massive. Of course they would be, they were massive buildings. But looking at a hole in the ground where such buildings once stood was soul crushing. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of looking at this tribute.
The sound of the waterfall is deafening. Unending. Tormenting. Calming.
I got lost looking into the water. At the surrounding buildings. At the still under construction One World Trade Center towering above.
My mouth went dry.
My eyes teared up.
I haven’t felt that way in a long, long time. I stood at the South Pool in complete silence for quite some time.
My Dad joined me for a while, asking if I was okay, and we both stood in silence and took it all in.
After, I made my way to the North Pool and went through the experience all over again.
I hadn’t been down to Ground Zero since December of 2001, a few short months after the attack. Some friends were in town and wanted to go down to the observation deck, which at that time was still rubble. I really wasn’t ready to see Ground Zero in person, but felt that it was something that I had to do. I still wasn’t ready for it this time, either. But living in Texas I didn’t know when I’d have the opportunity to go back.
It was a much different experience then but the same in a lot of ways.
A lot has happened in the 11 years since the attack, but I am really glad that there is true progress in lower Manhattan.