|Photo by CNN|
|Photo by Squared Design Lab|
First, we entered a small building where we picked up our tickets. The building also houses some relics from the World Trade Center and offers memorabilia for purchase.
This fiberglass replica of Lady Liberty stood outside an FDNY fire station and was adorned by tributes including a pair of United Airline wings.
These two displays honor the volunteers and the police officers who rushed to the site to rescue survivors and recover victims.
From this temporary museum, we moved on to visit the memorial. After extensive security screening, and weaving back and forth through a maze, the path opens up to the memorial itself.
At first glance, it appears to be a simple inner city park...until I walked a little further to find the South Pool. The memorial includes two pools that serve as footprints of the Twin Towers that once stood here.
Although I expected this to be a solemn experience, nothing prepared me for the rush of emotions I experienced as tears streamed down my cheeks. There is a palpable energy, on these hallowed grounds, greater than anything I have ever known.
As I ran my hand over the names engraved on the memorial, like Vernon Paul Cherry and Ssu-Hui Wen, I thought about those who felt that jumping from a skyscraper window was a better alternative than what they were experiencing in those burning buildings. These were people who were trying to make a living to support their families; who loved and were loved; who were just like you and me.
After spending some time reflecting on what was and what will be, we visited a second temporary museum. There was a moving video and more relics from the Towers displayed.
On exhibit, is a firefighter's helmet covered in dust and debris from the Towers and a man's very personal effects, which included his wallet, ID, and wedding band.
Please take a moment this week to remember those who were murdered, assaulted, or left to mourn loved ones eleven years ago. If you pass upon a police officer or firefighter, thank them for doing what they do best: serve and protect.
|My heroes: Lt. BJ Gruber and Firefighter Jason Gruber|