After Trinity Church, lunch and the Federal Hall National Memorial my last stop before going off to meet another friend for drinks was the 9/11 memorial. I had not been to this area since the 9/11 attacks and was keen to see the memorial. I was a little disappointed. After 12 years I had thought that it would have been more advanced. As it is it’s still very much a work in progress. There were lines to get in, but they weren’t particularly long. Security was tough (like being at the airport even down to having to take your belt off) but I suppose that’s necessary. Approaching the memorial is like walking through a building site. So much construction is still ongoing. Once you get there the pools (which stand in the footprints of the twin towers) are really very spectacular. The twin towers were nearing completion when I first came to New York in the early 1970s. I can remember seeing them for the first time from the Staten Island ferry (I was staying on Staten Island at the time). It’s still hard for me to believe that they’ve gone. Other than the pools there’s not much to see. A lot of trees, still quite small (as they’re new of course they would be) and an unfinished museum. The glass in the museum windows is quite reflective and it was a bright, sunny day when I was there. If you try hard you can peer through the glass and see a couple of the huge tridents, which remain from old twin towers. I’m sure they’ll be quite spectacular when the museum is finished and open to the public. The only other thing of interest was the survivor tree: a tree, which although damaged survived the fall of the twin towers. It was moved to a park where it was uprooted in a storm. It survived that too. Finally it was moved back to the 9/11 memorial where it appears to be in good shape – maybe a symbol of the resilience of New York, and of New Yorkers. The intent is that this will become a site of rest, remembrance and introspection. I’m sure it will get there at some point in the future. It isn’t quite there yet though.
One World Trade Center as seen from the line waiting to get into the 9/11 memorial
The South Pool
The South Pool showing names of 9/11 victims
Another view of the South Pool
One World Trade Center towering above the as yet unfinished museum
Flowers are left on the victim names