I was in New York a couple of days after the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and one of the highlights of our visit was being able to visit the Memorial at the Ground Zero site. I must admit I had not been following all of the events leading up to the 10 Year Anniversary, so I was not aware that the Memorial was almost complete (the museum will open in 2012). I was very fortunate to have been able to get 5 visitors passes 11 days before our trip into the city and only 4 days after the Memorial had been dedicated. If you are planning on going, make your reservations here.
The subway trip down was almost uneventful. We were on an express train and I wasn't sure if it was going to stop at Park Place, so we hopped off thinking we would have to transfer to a local. Just as we were all on the platform, we heard that indeed the next stop was the one we wanted. I have never seen 5 women over the age of 45 move so fast. I think we stunned the other passengers who giggled and asked us if we were sure!
It was a bit of a walk to the Memorial from our station. I stopped to ask a businessman who was kind enough to give us lengthy directions to the sight. Actually I did not meet an unpleasant New Yorker during our entire visit. Everyone was helpful and friendly and accommodating. The visit is very well organized. After you pass through security there are guides all along the way checking passes and directing you to the entrance.
I felt an energy all around me, but I did not feel sadness until I walked over to the south pool and saw all of the names engraved on the plaques. The moving water was calming and energetic as the waterfalls cascaded down the sides of the square fountain, to the square empty box in the center. What a beautiful tribute to those who lost their lives during such a heinous event.
The callery pear tree became known as the Survivor Tree after sustaining extensive damage, but living through the 9/11 terror attacks. In October '01, the tree with lifeless limbs, snapped roots & blackened trunk was discover & freed from the piles of smoldering rubble in the plaza of the WTC. The tree was originally planted in the 1970's in the vicinity of buildings 4 & 5 in the WTC complex near Church Street. The damaged tree measured 8' tall when it first arrived at the Nursery in the Bronx. It was nursed back to health & today has grown to a height of about 30 feet.