I had breakfast via room service Saturday morning. Orange juice, hot chocolate, Special K, banana and mini blueberry muffins.
One World Trade Center “Freedom Tower” is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. I hope to go to the observation deck next year. It wasn’t open yet this time.
I visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum first thing Saturday morning. I knew going to NYC that this would take priority over anything else I may want to see or do. This place was everything that I had hoped it would be. I know I’m like many Americans (especially my generation) this was one of the most impactful things that has ever happened in my lifetime. It changed the way I looked at the world, at life, at other people. This memorial was exactly what it should have been. I loved every part of it. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in public. People were so respectful. It was quiet, somber but at the same time hopeful.
Some of the names that are along the edge of the pool.
When you first enter this is the picture that you see. It was taken from Brooklyn just before the attack. Look at what a beautiful day it was. It is sad to think about how many lives were destroyed just shortly after this picture was taken. In this moment though, they were alive and well.
As you walk down the first hallway, there are quotes projected on the columns and walls and there are recordings of people telling their stories of death, survival, being left behind. It is so touching.
Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on the September Morning
Spencer Finch (American, b. 1962)
Watercolor on paper
It is composed of 2,983 individual watercolors representing the artist’s recollection of the sky on September 11, 2001.
Located on the same wall as the Spencer Finch piece is this plaque. When I read this I had to read again just to make sure that what I read the first time was correct. How heartbreaking.
There were two sections that didn’t permit photography (and I definitely understand why).
One was the room that was entitled In Memoriam. It had all the pictures of every victim along the outside walls with certain personal effects along the inner wall. In the center was a dimly lit room that had had a revolving name projected on wall, someone spoke the name, pictures were shown and if there was someone willing to speak about the person that was played too. Some were sad stories of people learning of the loss, some were funny stories and others just talked about the type of person they were and how they would be missed. I must have sat in here listening to the stories for 30 to 45 minutes. I just couldn’t seem to get up and walk away. It felt as though you really were getting to know them.
The other section was about the attacks (1993 and 2001). This is such a sad
People still leave flowers stuck into names along the reflecting pools. Even with all the years that have passed the pain is still fresh here. Hope and empathy are too.
I walked a little ways away from the Memorial/Museum and came upon the WTC Tribute Center. This place has all kinds of first hand accounts of that day. It has personal effects of people and personal stories. I was able to hear a first hand account of survival from a woman named Maria. Maria worked for the Port Authority which manages the WTC. Her office was located there and she survived. I won’t get into her story because it isn’t mine, it is hers, but I will tell you that her story was very powerful and I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to hear it.
After leaving the WTC Tribute Center I was on a mission for some food. I had really worked up an appetite from all the walking (and crying like a baby). I spotted a Burger King on the corner but I didn’t make it that far. I smelled pizza and made a beeline for it. I walked into Pronto Pizza and the smell was divine! Their showcase with all their different pizzas made my mouth water and my brain go into overdrive with the choices available. I went for good ol’ pepperoni though. I was so hungry I didn’t feel like I had time to narrow down from all the choices. I grabbed a coke too and headed back to my hotel room to put my feet up, rest and eat that wonderful pizza! I ate every last fatty, greasy, delicious and bad for me bite! It was so worth it!
After I rested I got a cab to the J.P. Morgan Library & Museum in Midtown.
Spencer Finch (American, b. 1962)
To read more about Spencer Finch and A Certain Slant of Light click HERE. J.P. Morgan’s portrait over the fireplace in the study.
I got back to the hotel and ordered room service for supper. I was just so exhausted from the day there was no way I could go out to eat. I ordered their California Turkey BLT and a side salad. It was so good!
I was able to Skype with Jason and Rylan before bed so that helped keep me from missing them to bad. Rylan kept giving me kisses through the phone/camera. It was so sweet!