While in NY to win the Flight of Philly competition (read about it), I wanted to go see the 9/11 memorial. On our last morning in NY, we took the hot, stinky subway and headed to where the twin towers used to stand. Walking up to the first waterfall at the 9/11 memorial was breath taking and by that, it literally took my breath away. It is this huge square of waterfalls that go down into the ground and end in another square waterfall falling deeper into the ground. It’s beautiful and yet so sad. I don’t think I’ve had such a deep and immense feeling since walking through Ann Frank’s house in Amsterdam when I was younger.
There is this magical feeling standing around the fountain as you mourn all those lost and you know that thousands of people go there each day having the exact same feelings. I placed my hand on the cold stone wall surrounding the memorial that contains the names of all those lost, and I might sound crazy but it had a spirit or a life of its own. To me, it felt as though it had its own heartbeat. I stood and stared out at the people, keeping my hand in place and was speechless. There were a few times that I tried to speak to my husband but felt the tears just welling inside and decided to wait.
Many other people around me must have had the same feeling because it was the most quiet place that I had visited since I got to NYC. The fountain is loud and roars out any of the voices around you so that you can just be in your own thoughts of how sad it is that so many people lost their lives that day because of hatred. I’m lucky in that I didn’t lose anyone that day or any in the days that follow, but I am a sensitive person and can’t help feel just utterly heart broken for those families who did lose someone. As I was mesmerized by where the waterfall goes deeper into the ground, I wondered how many gallons of water pour through this fountain each day and how that correlates to the gallons of tears that were shed that day and each day since. I took a picture but couldn’t even smile. There were some other young girls snapping pictures laughing and smiling and I wanted to stop and remind them what this stood for, but again I just felt tears welling and wanted to keep them stuffed down and my mascara intact. I think that anyone traveling to the city should go see this memorial and feel all that goes along with it. Feel the love, the sadness and the hatred that so many feel with they think of the lives lost.
New York City is a beast and we were able to see the beauty, the sadness, the crazy and the delicious. We will be back soon beast.