Most of the things we did in New York were pretty surreal, I’ve wanted to go there all my life, and it was neat standing in front of places that I’ve seen millions of times in photos and movies.
The most surreal thing was the 9/11 memorial. It’s such a beautiful, peaceful spot now with the water flowing and spraying in the wind, and people gathered silently around looking at the memorials and taking pictures. It’s very hard to picture it as the site of such a horrible thing.
I really tried to just stand there quietly and take it all in, and tried to imagine how it must have felt to be there that day, going from feeling safe and secure, in a familiar place you go to every single day, to horrible pain, terror and uncertainty in a split second.
I’m sure you can’t fully appreciate what it was truly like if you weren’t there, but I’m glad I was finally able to visit the site and see all of the names. Watching so much coverage of the attacks on the news, it almost felt like watching a movie, even though I knew it was actually happening. Being there in person reminds you that those were real people who died that day, somebody’s family, somebody’s friends. It could have been any of us.
And seeing the pools in the shadow of the new World Trade Center 1 tower reminds you that people are resilient, and that even if they’ll never forget, they will always rebuild.