Today marks the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks where 2983 people were killed at the World Trade Centre, The Pentagon and Flights 77, 93 and 175. The September 11th Memorial site opened in 2011 to mark the 10th anniversary of these attacks, and also to pay honor to those who died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in 1993. The museum is scheduled to open in September 2012. It is estimated that each day around 7000 people visit the Memorial site.
The visit to the Memorial site was very emotional. As with most people I know, I remember the live footage on the news, and seeing the anguish in the New Yorkers' eyes. Seeing the site brought back those memories, and I felt very sad reading about the events from personal perspectives and seeing the damage done to the buildings.
The visit to the site, and reading the book I purchased, made me reflect on the enormity of the tragedy, and I thought about how the world has changed since then. I also thought about how many people were affected - the victims, their families, the rescuers, onlookers, the whole New York community - and I imagine also some of the family members of the terrorists. My friend Katie came to the site with Mum and I, and she told us about when she found out during a morning at school, and how she could see the burning ruins at Ground Zero every day for months - eventually she had to move her bed to change her view.
After we went to the Memorial site, we went to Century 21 to shop. I felt uneasy being there after visiting such an important and sad place. I saw people shopping in Century 21 like it was the end of the world - rummaging through clothes and filling up their baskets to the brim. Sadly, on September 11 2011, it was the end of the world for some.
This replica of the Statue of Liberty featrures badges from the various New York fire and police departments as well as letters to the rescuers.
A New York skyline was carved out of some of the steel from the World Trade Centre debris.
This fire fighter has a tribute tattooed on his back.
The visitor's centre also has a gift shop where people can buy postcards, hoodies, books, DVDs, jewellery and other souvenirs. After our visit to the Memorial site, I bought a National Geographic book about the site, as well as a brooch which is a cast of a leaf from the Survivor Tree. All proceeds go to support the memorial and museum.
The Twin Towers are being rebuilt, so it is a construction area around the Memorial site. 3000 construction workers are there at any one time. There is very strict airport-like security when entering the site.
Below is the South pool at the September 11 Memorial site - it contains names of 441 first respondents, 695 names of those who died in the south WTC tower, 40 names from Flight 93, 59 names from Flight 77, 125 names from The Pentagon and 60 names from Flight 175. The North and South pools are set in the footprints of the original twin towers of the WTC.
Some of the names around the pools were of females and their unborn babies. This was very sad to see.
Read more about the Survivor's Staircase here.
Read more about the Survivor Tree here.
For more information about the September 11 Memorial, visit their website: www.911memorial.org.
My fellow Aussie blogger, Louisa Claire, filmed her visit to the Memorial site. If you are interested in seeing the surrounds with her commentary, click here.
I remember when the terrorist attacks happened. I had no idea of the scale of the buildings that had been hit. I had no idea of the enormity of the tragedy. To visit the site gave me that perspective, and the chance to pay respects to those who died and who worked around the clock rescuing survivors and rebuilding the site.