Every year on September 11th I pay tribute in my own small way by sharing some photos I've taken at the museums and memorials over the years. I have added to them with time as we travel to the city and see more.
As many of you know, New York City is one of my favorite places on Earth. I knew the second we arrived there for my first trip 15 years ago that I would love it. That trip was less than two weeks before September 11, 2001:
Look hard behind me -- this is the only picture I have of the towers and they look like ghosts in that photo. It still gets to me when I see this.
When we visit the city we make time to visit Ground Zero nearly every time. The first time we went back was four months after the devastation -- everything was still so raw at that point. It has made my heart swell to see the beautiful monuments that have been raised in that spot. In my opinion, they are so well done and pay beautiful tribute to those we lost throughout the country that day.
These first photos are from the Ground Zero Museum and tell the story of that day. This location is separate from the new museum – it used to be closer to Ground Zero but it looks like it’s moved to 14th street. If you visit the city I highly recommend visiting both.
I let the photos do the talking (forgive the quality, all were taken with a phone over the years):
The new 9/11 Museum is one they've been working on for years. It looks so small from the outside, and you think it will only take an hour or so get through. Plan accordingly because this museum literally goes deep into the Earth and you can spend hours in there.
It is truly one of the most well done museums I've ever seen, especially considering the content. The beginning is a tour of the footings and walls of the towers (this wall below was one of the towers). Don't miss the room in the middle in this part of the museum -- it holds photos of each of the victims as well as video about each one. There are no cameras allowed in this space -- it is most definitely a memorial. There is a separate room at the end of the main part of the museum and it can be easy to miss -- but it holds most of the photos, artifacts and videos. It may not be suitable for younger kids but our nine-year-old did fine. (There are parts of this room we steered him away from.) There are no cameras allowed in that room as well.
If you go give yourself plenty of time and be prepared for the heaviness in your heart that you will feel as you walk through and when you leave. It is overwhelming and unavoidable. I think every person that visits New York City should visit at least once.
This artwork signifies the color of the beautiful blue sky on that morning. There are 2,983 squares -- one for each person lost on September 11th and at the 1993 bombing.
God bless all those we lost on that day and their families. God Bless America.