Saturday, September 10, 2011

It is the tenth Anniversary of the worst terrorist act ever in American history. It left lasting effects on all people in America. Many felt they needed changes in their lives. The realization that life is short and can be taken away from you in a moments notice hit people hard. Many lives were directly changed forever. Just the staff at the restaurant at the top of the towers lost 171 workers. Many people needed to have a change even if they were not directly effected. People got married, people got divorced, people quit their jobs, many just needed a change.
Joseph C. Daniels is the President of the National September 11th Memorial & Museum. That is what they call ground zero these days and he is the guy in charge of making us all feel comforted so we never forget those innocent hard working people who died there under what was once magnificent tall buildings that were an important part of the New York skyline.
The area is 8 acres and for ten years just looked like a open pit. The workers cleaned out over 200 stories of debris down to eight stories below ground level, down to bedrock. They planted 225 trees in the area. Where the actual buildings reached to the sky are 2 reflecting pools that are the largest man made waterfalls in the country. The design was to mark where the twin towers stood. The designer is a young architect Michael Arod who named it Reflecting Absence.

The names of all who died there are written in bronze letters around the pools. The south tower pool has in bronze all the names of the first responders who died there. Right in front of that is the tallest building that is currently being built in America. Fundamentally, the memorial is all about the people who died there. However equally important is to show the country and the world that we will rebuild and we will go forward. And, we will build higher.
The new skyscraper is not finished yet. It now rises about 800 feet into the sky representing about 80 stories. It is scheduled to be finished in 2013. It is specifically being built to recapture a portion of the New York skyline. On the north side of the south pool a museum has been built to recapture the many artifacts and stories that took place within an hour that day. They call it the Museum Pavilion. The Museum is not open yet either. They expect with a big push in work to open it next year on the 11th Anniversary of this disaster.
The President of this project is particularly proud of the time and effort taken in the proper placement of the names of the deceased around the waterfalls pools. For example, one woman lost her father that day and also lost her best friend that was on the plane that crashed into the same tower her father was in. Those two names are Richard Ross and Stacy Leigh Sanders. It is heartbreaking to loose your father and best friend at the same time differently. The daughter requested that these names would be side by side at the pool. They accommodated her wish.
The hundreds of trees planted there were carefully selected from the three disaster sites. Some from Pennsylvania, from Virginia and the now famous pear tree that was there alive when the buildings came down. It was 95% destroyed, the NYC Parks Dept. brought it up to the Bronx and for the past ten years nursed it back to health. It survived a strike of lightening through the years as well.

The tree is symbolic that you can beat us up but we will care and we will survive and we will thrive. If you go there, you now know what to expect. Personally, I loved from time to time when they placed bright lights that rose into the evening skyline like the ghosts that probably still remain there. The pools of waterfalls is a moving tribute. Although the entire area is not yet finished we could be proud that we have had a 10 year war with the terrorists and have killed their leader.
There is also an official book of the memorial that has been published called A Place of Remembrance. We should be grateful to the survivors that are willing to tell us about their terror on that day.

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