Monday, 24 April 2017

New York City: 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Do you remember where you were on the 11th September 2000? I remember standing in the showroom of the company I was working for staring at the big televisions on the wall in complete silence and horror.

The attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City has been called 'when the world stopped turning' and has been the subject of many reports, theories and documentaries.

However, there is nothing like the moment you step street side from the Metro station
and see the sheer size of the cleared area.
First of all you encounter the two eternity pools,  people milling around but most of all in silence.  The wind whipping around the area the only sound until you are up close and realise all you are concentrating on is the gentle ripple of the water flowing into the open square in the middle.
There are no signs, posters or information just silence and the names of the victims around the outside of the two infinity pools.
Visitors just standing around the four sides, silently remembering where they were on that day during those early moments of news coverage!
A poignant memory - an unknown person had stuck a small American flag on the name of a victim (I wondered if it was random or if they knew the family!)
The Memorial is free and open to the public however the Museum has a charge which goes towards the upkeep of the museum.  

If the Memorial moved you be prepared for what you will experience in the Museum.  The whole time we walked through the exhibits I felt sick and cold! The huge scale of the disaster is hard to take in and as you go along you will see remnants of building that survived, signs charred and bent into unrecognisable shapes.

The sheer horror the victims must have felt! The Museum does not want to shock or revolt the visitor but to help you understand what happened on that day. To remember those who did not make it and celebrate those who did.

I wanted to rush through the museum and at the same time to take my time to feel the flood of emotions as I read each description, looked at each photo or listened to each recording

Before construction on the World Trade Centre could begin it was necessary to build a concrete retaining wall, known as a slurry wall. If this wall had been breached on 9/11 it would have made the situation even worse.  A portion of the original wall has been preserved.
These steps are know as the 'Survivors Stairs'. The stairs were located on the northernmost edge of the Plaza and helped a large number of people escape.  They are also known as 'The Path to Freedom'.
Ladder Company No 3 and its 11 members were inside the building when it collapsed.  All members of Ladder Company No 3 were killed.
This is Ladder No 3 which was taken from the wreckage. Those ladders were strong but look at the state of them after their ordeal!
Andrea Booher, FEMA was the photographer chosen to record the months following the 9/11 disaster and to document the clean up.  Andrea said "In the beginning there was this desperation, this feeling like you couldn't go home."
My visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum has left a lasting effect on me. There is a deep sadness and yet a feeling of hope and the determination of the population of New York City that this event won't break them!

I was given a complementary ticket to the Museum.  I was however not required to write a positive review. As usual all opinions and photos are my own.  No photos may be reproduced in any form without my written consent.


  1. This is a memorial I'm very keen to visit myself. In that day i was at work, in my last permie job before i went freelance. I saw it first during a coffee break from a meeting and told the others, it was still unfolding, and had to insist not to go back into the meeting because it was still ongoing. I don't think they appreciated how big a thing it was. I was hot cold hot cold shaky. It was awful beyond belief.

    1. I think seeing the memorial has helped me but still the museum has some very upsetting things in it!

  2. It was a moment which resonated across the world. I haven't been back to NY since it happened, though I had friends who were so close location wise, they were lucky. I was in the middle of moving house, a friend called me on my mobile and made me reconnect the TV. And in the evening, I was running an event for financial services professionals. There were people there from Morgan Stanley who had been talking to their US colleagues...a moment in time I won't forget and I am not sure I'd want to see the monument while the world seems so unstable.

    1. It was a terrifying thing to watch on TV and so frustrating to be so far from my home country!

  3. Looks like a really touching memorial and museum, quite moving to go there. I had just gotten a cast on my wrist and went to workd that day to see if I could work or would have to take a sick leave. I was kind of glad to be around people rather than be home alone with the shock.

    1. I don't think anyone will ever forget where they were that day!

  4. It has been ages since I visited New York..Thanks for sharing the info .. might visit again sometime.

  5. On my next vist to New York, I will definitely visit this place to pay my respects to all those people who lost their lives on this day. I can imagine the fear and sadness you must have felt as you walked around the museum.

  6. Great post and pictures. I visited the memorial last year and also found it very poignant and profound. Thanks for sharing.