9/11 Memorial: A place of reflection

 9.11 Memorial, what’s happening in New York, 9.11 remembrances, exhibitions, As today is the 12th anniversary of 9.11, I had the opportunity to visit the National September 11 Memorial over the weekend. It’s a somber, moving tribute to the victims, to the families and friends left behind, and to the city.

With the number of people and organizations involved in the rebuilding of World Trade Center (WTC) area with conflicting agendas, it’s amazing that anything was developed at all. But in the end, egos were refocused, and the Memorial was completed.

The 9.11 Memorial consists of two reflecting pools each situated in the north and south tower footprints. The names of the victims from the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, the downed flights, the first responders, along with those who died in the first WTC bombing in 1993 are inscribed in bronze parapets overlooking the waterfalls.

The positioning of the names, concepted by architect Michael Arad as “meaningful adjacencies,” reflect where the victims were on the day and the relationships they shared with others who were also lost. I walked around both pools, following the sequencing of the names and it’s a very powerful experience. Somewhat like a timeline of events on that day. For me, it was the most potent aspect of the memorial. The footprints of the towers are overwhelming to see, but the two-leveled pools left me confused as to their meaning.

The plaza is populated with swamp white oak trees sending a serene feeling throughout, with much room to sit and reflect. There’s one unique tree – a Callery pear planted in the 1970s – known as the Survivor Tree. On 9.11, the tree was reduced to a stump. It was nursed back to health, growing to 30’ tall currently, and flowering in the spring. The tree is completely supported until it is fully rooted.

Entry to the 9.11 Memorial is free, but visitor passes are required. If you are planning a trip to New York City, I highly recommend the experience.

 9.11 Memorial, what’s happening in New York, 9.11 remembrances, exhibitions,

All photos: © 2013 Janet Giampietro

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