I was in New York City this past month and visited Ground Zero. It was my ninth visit since the World Trade Center was attacked and 9/11 became an infamous day.
The firefighters have a bronze relief wall that has recently been finished and is a fitting memorial to the 343 firefighters who died that day. The sculpture quality is excellent and the long bronze wall has a powerful impact on its visitors. It is located directly across the street from the new museum that is a memorial to all who died that day as a result of terrorists' activities.
New Yorkers had a mission to fulfill this 9/11/11. They were pledged to do something for someone else on that day. Acts of kindnesses were encouraged by city officials and the media to be done on that day. After ten years, the anger and rage we felt immediately after the terrorist attacks was turning around to remember that day in a positive way. Somehow, it is good to take the worst of situations and find a positive response. Hate never heals.
A survivor of the Twin Towers was near St. Paul's Church, located less than a block from Ground Zero, reminding tourists what it was like to have been at work on September 11. He was in the second tower and on the eighth floor. His firm decided to evacuate the building before the second plane hit. He talked about feeling the impact and that his office all elected to use the stairs. He said that his speaking to visitors was his way of remembering the fallen and giving thanksgiving for his own life.
I must say that I am looking forward to visiting the site next year. By then the reflection ponds will have gained the character of being part of the memorial and the trees will be more established and maybe birds will be nesting. It will offer a calm and tranquil experience. I believe that is what years of planning tried to accomplish and the new 9/11 Memorial reflects the compassion of all Americans.