Thursday, October 27, 2011

9/11 Memorial

I didn’t expect to get to see the 9/11 memorial. Apparently, you have to reserve a ticket online. Thankfully, the bus tour I was on stopped at the site of the World Trade Center and the bus driver had a few tickets reserved and he gave one to me at no charge. I’m not so sure about this rude New Yorker stuff - Charlie and I have been impressed by most of the people we meet! 
There was LOTS of security at the 9/11 memorial, more than any other site I’d been to. There was so much security that I snapped a picture of all of them. One of them turned to me and said, “Excuse me. Did you just take a picture of us!?!” I said yes and he told me to show it to him and delete it immediately. They were serious about the security there, but I have nothing to show you to prove it. ;-)
The memorial was basically hidden by tall walls, you really had to have a ticket to see it at all. And you had to show your ticket to about 50 people before you got in! It was worth the hassle. There aren’t really words to describe that big, empty space in the middle of Manhattan. The buildings are so tall and so packed in the city. This enormous, empty spot just leaves you speechless. I walked into the memorial choking back the tears. My mind immediately flashed back to those desperate people leaping from the burning towers. I held it together until I began to read the names. All names I did not know, but in some way I felt the pain of those families. Every name is a whole life. Every name has a daughter, a son, a mother, a father, an aunt, an uncle, a niece, a nephew, a husband, a cousin, a best friend, a boss, a coworker, a pastor or even an unborn baby. Every name in that memorial had a morning routine, a pharmacy, a church, a grocery store, a mailman, a babysitter or a favorite restaurant. A whole life. 

1,609 lives
I imagined what if that were my dad’s name or my mom’s name or my brother’s name or my name. How monumental that would be to the rest of my life. Then I thought of the hundreds of thousands whose lives changed when those innocent people were killed.
What those horrible, evil men did to our country changed us. Whether we like it or want to admit it or not, things changed that day. A feeling of absolute security was lost. A war began. An economy started to crumble. Avery will grow up in a different America.
But what I know is that no matter what this life brings or what our country’s future holds, He has not changed. He is not less secure. We are just as secure in Him the day before 9/11 as we were the day after. When we put our faith in Jesus we hold something much greater than a feeling of physical safety or economic stability. We don’t have to fear the future and we certainly don’t have to fear death. That is also an unspeakable feeling...of peace. No extreme Islamist, no evil dictator, not even Satan himself can change what I know. I know who holds my future. That is all the security I’ll ever need. Thank you, Jesus!

Where each of the towers stood, there is a water fountain. The water flows into a deeper part in the middle off the memorial

It's really gorgeous and the sound of the water is so peaceful, these pictures do not do it justice!

Lining the waterfall is the name of every person who lost their life that day, I even saw one of a woman's name and it listed her unborn child as well. ***Tears....***

Loved ones leave flowers on some of the names, there is even a kiosk to help you locate the name you're looking for

St. Paul's Church

When the buildings came down, trees nearby fell. One tree fell in the cemetery behind the church, but didn't damage any of the grave stones or the church. An artist made this sculpture to represent the roots of that tree. 

There was a lady singing inside with an orchestra, a man also read poetry

This church served immediately after 9/11, taking in workers to house them and give others medical care. These are the pictures that people brought of loved ones that were missing on 9/11.

A cross made from parts of the buildings...

The Flag of Honor lists the name of every person that lost their life on 9/11

This was one of the pews decorated by the children that dropped off cards and drawings to encourage those that visited St. Paul

I just can't imagine the feeling of not knowing what happened to someone I loved...

This was at the 9/11 Memorial Preview store. The skyline sculpture on the left was sculpted out of metal from the buildings...

I took this picture because it was the tallest building near the WTC site. A man selling 9/11 memorial books showed me this building next to the WTC buildings in a picture in the magazine I bought. This building was so tall, but the WTC buildings were over twice the size of this building. I can't even imagine what they would've looked like. Nothing else in that area compares to the size of those buildings.

There is still lots of construction going on at the WTC site...


DC said...

Thanks for sharing your experience and pictures. It's pretty incredible how you are overcome with emotions by visiting Ground Zero. As we walked around the area back in 2006, it was very overwhelming.

The bus tour is the way to go! Drop off & pick up at different areas on YOUR schedule! Worth every penny!

Cristi said...

So glad you got to do that. I would most definitely want to. I didnt realize that you had to have tickets for it. I thought it was just there and anyone could go see it. Yay for that bus driver and Gods blessings.

Nicki Kennon said...

I hung on every word of this blog post. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Penny said...

Very well written, Casey. Such a sad, sad, day in our history. But better things are yet to come.... I sincerely hope so.

Kacey Suvada said...

awesome pictures!