Wednesday, September 21, 2011
“Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave”, I can say in a great abundance of gratitude that those last few lines haven’t rung more true than on September 11th, 2001. This event held the nation or even the entire world at a standstill. We watched in shock, screams and silence as this complete horror took place before our eyes. After the following days that pursued we knew it would take a great deal of time to pick ourselves up from the attacks and return to life as normal but as New Yorkers and Americans we did what we could to keep on moving.
Ten years later we can all say that life will never truly go back to normal. We hear the date, see the time, or those unfavorable numbers and know the meaning behind it or more so what it means to us. “Never Forget”, the two towers along with this quote flash across t-shirts, bumper stickers, pins and memorabilia shortly thereafter and up until today, we have done just that.
On September 11th 2011 the memorial and museum officially opened up to the public to commemorate those lives lost. Two large waterfalls stream its way into the roots of what had once been Tower One and Tower Two, names are engraved along long bronze panels surrounding this rather symbolic feature.
Families and friends were the first to experience the memorial. Families will also be able to obtain special access and features to the memorial during each visit. With construction on the new towers still inhibiting the area the regular public must reserve a spot for up to four in advance to visit the memorial and museum. Millions of people all over the world have already made reservations; this has made a visit near impossible until November.
Entering the museum almost three thousands portraits of men, women, and children color the expanse of the wall in what is called the “Wall of Faces”. Tables also align the corridor in order to interact 9/11 Memorial visitors to the victims of the tragedy with background stories, additional photos, artifacts, audio and more.
Many people have also donated some of their symbolic artifacts to the museum. Reporters who have donated suits or dresses they made news coverage in on that day. Some pieces of material have been untouched and still harbor a film of debris and dust on it. Downtown Manhattan residents have also donated tarnished objects that they found wrecked and burned in their apartments several days later. Each object has a story for one to share.
Today, one tower has now sprouted up around the memorial and three more will also accompany it on the East and West side. We have literally rebuilt ourselves up as New Yorkers and as a Nation but even in the next ten years to come we will “Never Forget”.
by Megan Guard