Happy Friday, everyone! It’s really hard for me to believe that nearly a year ago, I was preparing for my three-week trip to New York, London, and Paris! As you may have noticed, I’ve been sharing my NYC-London-Paris adventures sort of piecemeal and in intermittent spurts. Most of it is my lack of time to sit down and sort through photos and journal entries, but a few posts also require me to find older pictures from previous trips. This was one of those posts.
Let’s start with a story. In 8th grade, I went to New York City on a class trip over spring break. Oh, we had so much fun! We ate bagels and schmear (can’t you just hear me saying schmeeyah in a New York accent?). In an effort to be caught on tape by the cameraman, we wore silly headpieces to the Today Show (note: I have the VHS–yes, VHS— taping this in action!). I bought faux Oakleys from a street vendor near the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Our English teacher bravely took a rowdy group of middle schoolers to Katz’s, as reported here. *Sigh* a truly wonderful trip.
One of the most memorable parts of that trip was going to the World Trade Center. A friend and I had taken ridiculously tourist pictures of each other, where we looked as if we were as tall as the Twin Towers. I think it’s saved into my brain because our trip was in April of 2001. Yes, the April before September 11, 2001. So I’ve been searching and searching for that photo, but have yet to find it in my piles of actual printed photos. If only it was a digital photo…
So, despite me being out of luck in finding the photo, I still wanted to share with you my experience visiting the World Trade Center Memorial in December. I was not at all prepared for my reaction to seeing the recently updated site of the 9/11 attacks in New York. It was chilling yet beautiful and 100% worth standing the long line for security to see.
After my parents and I toured Liberty Island (catch up on that here!), we grabbed a hot drink at Starbucks to warm up (salted caramel mocha, please.) and wandered over to the 9/11 Memorial Site. We stood in a brief serpentine line outside (with stellar views of the new-ish World Trade Center) before coming to the security area. It was very much like that in a busy airport–aka a pain removing coats, purses, shoes– but I definitely understood the need for such safety and security measures. Still, I don’t know that I will ever really get over the anxiety that type of activity brings me.
Once we passed through security, we meandered through fencing that felt like a maze. Luckily, there were lots of signs guiding us. I’m prone to getting lost easily. Thanks for that, mom. When we approached the memorial’s two reflection pools, I was in awe. For a moment, we stood alongside the Memorials’ twin reflecting pools, which sit within the edge of where the Twin Towers once stood. Where I stood more than 10 years ago. The clamor of the city was suddenly drowned by the steady flow of water cascading into the pools. The Memorial’s bronze panels surrounding the reflecting pools are inscribed with the names of every single person who died in both the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. As I’m sure you can understand, this was a lot to take in.
It was truly an incredible experience to visit this memorial. I highly recommend visiting regardless of whether you’ve been before or not! I’d definitely go back on my next trip to New York City. For more information on the 9/11 Memorial, visit the website here. Unfortunately, the 9/11 Memorial Museum was not yet open when I was there, so I was bummed we couldn’t check that out. Perhaps on another trip to New York!