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Road Trip: New York City, 9/11 Memorial

Road Trip: New York City, 9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial inspiring, beautiful

> NYC Road Trip: Bobby Flay's Bar Americain

By Lynn Dirk, GLOB Content Editor

EDITOR's NOTE: GLOB Editor Mike Sanford and GLOB Content Editor Lynn Dirk made a trip to New York City in 2013 that included a trip to the 9/11 memeorial that is worth sharing today.

100813CityScapeWhen it was time to start making plans for my trip to NYC with the GLOB Master, I was SO excited to learn that we would be staying in the Hilton Millenium right across from the 9/11 Memorial. As it turned out, our room on the 19th floor looked right on the Memorial site, which is completed, but in front of it was a huge construction site for what I learned would be a subway station.  We could just see part of the Memorial peaking out from behind the construction, which I later learned was the North Pool (pic right, bottom left surrounded by trees in the background).

100813MapBThe 9/11 Memorial is a tribute not only to all the nearly 3000 people who died on 9/11 and in the 93 WTC attack but equally to those who loved them, who overcame financial, political, and personal difficulties to create a heart-breaking, inspiring, and sublime memorial, "a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history." The names are grouped by where they died except for first responders, and a map shows where those names are located (map for the South Pool above right).



The name of the memorial given by its designers is "Reflecting Absence." It is a symbolic and literal interplay of light, water, and, in every sense of the word, reflection. Two pools were created in the footprints of the towers. Bronze plaques along the sides of the pools are deeply etched with the names of the dead. On the birthday of each person, a rose is placed at the name by Memorial volunteers.

Underneath the plaques is a still water channel and that water flows over the top of the pool to become the largest man-made waterfall in North America. The water falls down into the pools, which that are 30 feet deep and occupy an acre. In the middle of the pools are deep wells into which the water falls again and seems to be collecting the souls of all those whose names surround the pool along with a piece of your own soul.



There are many trees around the pools, which are all white swamp oaks that were collected from all the areas affected by the attack, but one tree is different -- it was a tree that was found during the recovery effort. It was seriously damaged, so it was taken to the New York Botanical Gardens and nursed to health and then returned to the site.  It is called The Survivor Tree. The 9/11 Museum, which is not yet open, is between the two pools. Nearby, the new skyscraper, One World Trade Center, which is all reflective glass, becomes a part of the Memorial by towering above it and continuing the reflections.




While we were there and getting ready to leave, we noticed a parade of some sort outside the Memorial site–policemen and firemen were parading with American flags (right). Turns out there was a Tunnel to Tower Run with many first responders participating in memory of the many who had died. You can see on the map above that there were almost as many first responders who died (green) as persons who were in the South Tower who died (blue). I had no idea the first responder loss was so great. I also learned something new about that day's events – many, many people with boats raced to the end of Manhattan to pick up people and help them escape from the ash and debris. There is a moving 12-minute video on YouTube.com narrated by Tom Hanks about it.

I encourage everyone to visit the 9/11 Memorial website where you can see more pictures, read stories, and learn more about how it was created -- and be persuaded to visit the Memorial in person. I guarantee a moving and unforgettable experience. PS, Get your free Memorial ticket ahead of time and go early to avoid the long lines we saw when we were leaving.




As a side note, in addition to the view out of our hotel room, the view out the window by our elevators was also excellent, including a view of the Brooklyn Bridge, but being an incurable explorer of buildings ever since I came to Gainesville as a Freshman and used to explore all the UF buildings at night (yes, in the good old days, the buildings would be open all night!), I noticed a 2nd set of elevators and when I was on my own decided to go up and see what the view would be there. It turns out those elevators went only from the 35th to the 55th floor. I had hit the jackpot! I went to the top and discovered the Presidential, Governor, and Mayoral suites and a much bigger window by the elevator with a much better view and a great pic (bottom pic). I couldn't get the GLOB Master to come and see it until nighttime and that was when I inadvertently took the picture of him reflected in the window as I was trying to catch the same pic at night.

New York, New York . . . A fantastic place to visit, but I'm glad I live in Gator Country!

Last modified onFriday, 10 August 2018 04:27

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