You have to have a ticket and a reservation to get in to the Memorial site, as of right now they are free. They only allow so many at a time and you can pick a day and time you hope to be there. If there are too many for that day and time they will let you know. Security is tight there as well, you and your bags have to go through a screening there too. When you go in they give you a roll of paper and a crayon so you can etch a name on it if you want as well as information.
Kathy and I went to the Memorial and Bill and William went to the Natural History Museum that day.
As with everywhere you go in N.Y. there are lines of people waiting to enter and the Memorial was no different. I’m sad to say that Kathy lost her Dad in the towers the day of the attack. Families who lost someone that day doesn’t have to wait in line, they have a separate entrance for them and I think that’s how it should be. Her Dad’s name is engraved on one of the pools.It is hard for families. Kathy said that even though she understands why people want to visit there, for her it’s grave site. At the same time, it’s a tourist attraction and a place to mourn.
There is a temporary museum there right now while the permanent one is being built. You can see it in my picture that is titled…People at the Memorial in the back of the photo. It’s slanted building and it will be amazing when it’s finished.
All through the museum there are video’s. Video’s of the day of the attack, video’s of the aftermath and clean up. Video’s of peoples reaction and of the first responders who never gave up. There are artifacts of the buildings and of the planes, of personal items found in the wreckage. There is a wall of just photos of those gone from us and a wall of those who are still missing. There is a flag called the honor flag that has the name of every person who perished that day. It is very humbling to say the least.
The names around the fountains are arranged not alphabetically but by the group of people who were close together on the day the planes hit. Police officers are listed together, as are passengers on each of the planes that crashed -- and the crew and passengers of each plane are listed on the pool corresponding to the tower their plane hit.
The Reflecting Pools are amazing and beautiful. They are the centerpiece of the memorial and are two giant, square pits and they sit in the footprints of the two towers. The waterfalls cascading down the four walls of each fountain are the largest such fountains in North America. To me the the continuous fountains are reminders that we will never forget.
There is a tree there that was originally planted in 1970 that now stands alone in the plaza, it's called the Survivor Tree. It is a pear tree and is the last living thing pulled from the ruins. The tree was found in the smoldering rubble and had sustained extensive damage. When it was found it had lifeless limbs, snapped roots and the trunk was scorched and blackened. At that time it was 8 feet tall. It was taken to a nursery and nursed back to health and replanted and now measures 30 in height. Since trees is my most favorite thing in the world other then my family I had to get a picture of it and of course I had to touch it. To me the tree symbolizes that as Americans you can knock us down but you can't knock us out. We will 'Always' get back up and do what needs to be done to make things right.
Next time I'll tell you about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. For now I'll leave you with a video of one of the Reflection Pools.