Neither photos nor information about the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is something that’s hard to find. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Even so, for me, it was a unique experience and certainly something that I’d like to share. With that said, here we go.
An Overnight Trip With The Family
I’ve never been a big fan of New York City. Many years ago I often went to The City for work and all my memories of the place always involved work. I was never able to do the tourist bit and just enjoy the place for what it is. When I went I did little more than deal with traffic and crowds, did what I had to do, and got out.
I can’t say that any trip I ever made to the city was pleasurable. However, in Dec of 2014, the wife and I went on a bus trip into Manhattan. For those that live in the North Eastern, US it was one of those Christmas extravaganzas intended to get you to blow your money on gifts, etc. That trip was the first time I’d ever been to New York for anything other than work. Regardless, neither of my two offspring, now 16 and 17 had ever been. Not even for the day, and it’s only about a three hour drive from here. Because of that the wife thought the girls would enjoy it.
After some planning the wife booked a room.
The wife was excited. Our daughters were excited. Everyone was excited. Well, perhaps not everyone but any vacation or even mini vacation with the family is always a good thing.
Since We Were Heading To New York
Since we were heading to New York I knew that I’d spend a great deal of my own time with a camera in my hand. I also figured I’d be writing a post here in my journal about the trip. Initially it had been intended to be a quick summary of the trip with a few photos. After actually going however, it seems fitting that there be two separate posts. One about the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and another about the rest of the trip. In the end I’ve decided that the somber feeling of the memorial just wouldn’t fit well with the images of Times Square. Because of that I’ll leave the rest of our little mini vacation for later this week.
As a side note. A small gallery of all the photos in this post with perhaps 2 or 3 others can be found here.
The World Trade Center
As you enter the WTC complex, where the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is, you find yourself surrounded by the buildings and skyscrapers that make up the World Trade Center. Though I “imagine” that most people are drawn to the reflecting pools that now rest in the footprint of the Twin Towers you can’t miss the WTC. I guess it can best be described as a sideshow that can’t be missed. At least it’s been that way for me on both of my visits.
With that in mind I’ve included a few photos of One World Trade Center, As well as 3 and 4 World Trade Centers. There are also a few shots from inside the new World Trade Center Station farther below.
Stepping out of the subway tunnels, after taking the “R” Train to the Cortlandt Street stop, we were greeted by towers 3 and 4 of the WTC Complex looming above. WTC 3 and WTC 4 are the two skyscrapers on the left side of the image.
This photo of One World Trade Center was actually snapped on my last visit in December of 2014. Even so it’s my favorite shot of the structure so I’ve included it here. Just pretend that there are leaves on the trees and we’ll be good to go. 🙂
3 World Trade Center and 4 World Trade Center rise above the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, NY, USA. World Trade Center Station, the spiky thing, can be seen in the forground on the left and the 9/11 Museum in the foreground on the right.
World Trade Center station (PATH)
And last for the World Trade Center here are a few shots from inside of World Trade Center station (PATH).
Inside of the new World Trade Center station (PATH), World Trade Center, New York, NY, USA
Inside of the World Trade Center station (PATH),
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Despite the skyscrapers looming overhead when you first enter the National September 11 Memorial & Museum you are immediately drawn to the reflecting pools. These pools are now located where the Twin Towers once stood. They also have the names of all the victims of the 9/11 attacks as well as those from the first bombing of the North Tower back on February 26, 1993.
Reflecting Pool at at National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, NY, USA
Reflecting pools at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York, NY, USA
The Single White Rose
Each day a single white rose is place in the name of one of the victims that would have been celebration their birthday. It represents all of the victims that were born n that day. There is at least one or more victim that for every day of the year.
Each day a single white rose is placed at the reflecting pools of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. It commemorates the birthday of all the victims that were born on that day.
July 19 was the birthday of Patrick J. Wood’s from Staten Island, NY. He was 36 years old and was installing cables in Tower 2. The day this photo was taken would have been his 52nd birthday.
On To The Museum
After milling around the reflecting pools for a bit, we made our way to the museum. Although I had been down to see the pools I had never actually been inside the Museum. This was going to be a first for all of us.
A reflection of One World Trade Center can be seen in the glass of the 9/11 Museum.
One of the fist things you come to after entering the museum is to go down a flight of stairs past The Tridents. These are two of the massive steel supports that we all grew up seeing at the base of the Twin Towers.
The Tridents at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, NY, USA
Quotes from 9/11
After descending perhaps 30 or so feet past the The Tridents you come to five or six panels. These panels have a moving and changing globe created out of quotes from 9/11 projected on them. As you walk through, you hear various narrators softly speaking the words as they move and change across the panels. This visual and audible rendering of quotes was very moving for me. I just had to grab a shot or two of them. I took my time walking through and actually had to catch up with the wife and kidlets. For a moment I was certain that they were far ahead and I’d never find them in the crowd of people.
As it turns out they were waiting no more than thirty or forty feet ahead of me.
Quotes from 9/11 projected on panels at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, NY, USA
The Last Column and the original Slurry Wall
After passing through the panels you eventually come to a large overlook. From there you can see the cavernous Foundation Hall below. And before your eyes, rests the graffiti covered Last Column. The Last Column’s original location was where a full company of firefighters simply vanished. There is also the original Slurry Wall, and it’s all within the original foundation of the Twin Towers.
Overlooking Foundation Hall of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum you see the Last Column and the original Slurry Wall.
Survivor’s Stairs and the Repository
After leaving the overlook you’ll descend into the sacred ground of the foundation. You either walk or ride an escalator past the “survivor’s stairs”. This was the Vesey Street staircase used by hundreds of survivors to reach safety on the morning of 9/11.
As you head down, beyond the staircase to the left, you can see the repository that still holds the unidentified remains of victims of the September 11 attacks. Much controversy has surrounded the repository. Some think the remains shouldn’t be there, while others find time in their busy schedules to bitch about the inscription on it’s face.
NO DAY SHALL ERASE YOU FROM THE MEMORY OF TIME.
From “Aeneid” by Virgil.
“NO DAY SHALL ERASE YOU FROM THE MEMORY OF TIME.”
From “Aeneid” by Virgil.
(“Nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo.”)
Personally I think the quote is beautiful and fitting despite the source and context from which it came. It’s sixty feet long, fifteen inches tall, surrounded by blue tile and forged from steel from the Twin Towers themselves. The repository is mantained by the medical examiner’s office and is only accessible to relatives of victims.
Descending past the “survivor’s stairs” into the sacred grounds of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The repository, to the left, is covered by blue tile.
You can get a better view of the “Survivor’s Stairs” in this Facebook post by National September 11 Memorial & Museum on their Facebook Page
“No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” ✒️ Virgil
To the right of the repository, as you’re facing it, are the remnants of the box columns. They are still embedded in the foundation. They were cut level with the foundation and preserved with great care. It was these that rose up through the interior of the towers to provide support for both of the towers.
Remnant of the box columns that provided interior support for the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. They are still in place and embedded in the original foundation.
Other items at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
There were many other things on display at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. These include the Flag of Remembrance which is made of photographs of some of the victims, and the crumpled base of the massive 360 foot antenna from the top of the North Tower.
Ladder 3 from FDNY which was destroyed is also there. It’s said that all 11 firefighters that arrived on ladder 3 were killed in the attacks. Speaking of which, 11 firefighters on one truck? They must have been hanging from every inch of the thing to get that many on it. Though I’m not familiar with Ladder 3 or for that matter any FDNY equipment, I’d say a truck crew is typically made of 6 firefighters at the absolute most. Perhaps that’s something I need to research later.
No photography allowed
There were hundreds of things in areas where no photography was allowed. Some of it made sense out of simple respect for the families of the victims. Others? There was no reason whatsoever that photography should be restricted for many things. Scraps from a plane, a fire engine, cars, bicycles and other every day objects. Oh well. I didn’t make the rules. I was just required to follow them.
The Fag of Remembrance is made from photos of the victims of the 9/11.
Base of the massive 360 foot antenna from the top of the North Tower.
The remains of “Ladder 3.” at the National September 11 Memorial &Museum.
On the morning of the attacks, it carried eleven firefighters to the scene. All eleven of them died in the collapse of the towers.
Before heading out we find ourselves back in Foundation Hall. This is the same space that we see when we first entered the memorial overlooking the Last Column. It was quiet and there was time to sit, relax and reflect. The massive size of this hall allowed people to spread out and not feel crowded as we were in some of the exhibits.
The Last Column and the original Slurry Wall of the World Trade Center in Foundation Hall. National September 11 Memorial Museum.
In closing I hope that you enjoyed the photos. All of the photos included, with the exception of one , were photographed with the Nikon D3 and the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens. The shot where it wasn’t used was the image of One World Trace Center that I captured in December of 2014. For that Photo I used a 57 year old, antique NIKKOR-H Auto 28mm f/3.5 (Ai – Converted) that I just love!
After our visit to the memorial our two day trip to New York was finished. Before leaving we grabbed a burger at the Burger King by the WTC. Once finished eating, we headed for the subway, hopped on the PATH train back to Hoboken, NJ where we were parked and headed back home to Pennsylvania.
Below, the last image I have to share is a snapshot of our daughters Megan and Crystal at the Burger King.
The offspring, Megan, 17 and Crystal, 16.
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Also, if you find a discrepancy in anything that I have written please leave a comment or contact me with the correct info so I can fix it. I’d much rather not pass along information that pass along inaccurate information. I am after all, I’m just a guy that takes pictures of stuff not a 9/11 historian.
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