I couldn’t help but feel emotionally torn during my first visit to New York City since the opening of the 9/11 Memorial. It was a combination of deep sorrow mixed with relief that there’s now a permanent tribute to the victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The memorial was closed to the public for most of the day to mark the 14th anniversary of the destruction of the Twins Towers and the death of nearly 3,000 people. –And rightly so. For many of the victims’ family members, they have no grave to visit, so the former foundations of the Twin Towers have become their rightful place for some private grieving.
I watched non-family members from around the world create spontaneous memorials outside of the official site. They used erasable markers or washable sidewalk chalk to write condolence messages, creating temporary tributes for victims who will never be forgotten.
The 9/11 Museum gave my tear ducts a workout. Mangled steel, crushed fire trucks, and the final beam removed from the World Trade Center ruins were among the artifacts that help tell the stories of loss and recovery.
After sunset, I was in Hoboken, New Jersey, where I had an amazing view of the laser lights beaming into the sky from the former foundations of the Twin Towers. The Empire State Building stood out Midtown, highlighted by red, white and blue lighting.
Also, on the Jersey side of the shore, the photo of a women dubbed the “Dust Lady” was attached to a mangled steel beam from the World Trade Center. Marcy Border died in August, at the age of 42, one of more than 2,500 first responders, and others, diagnosed with cancer since their exposure to toxic materials at Ground Zero.
It’s a somber reminder that the fallout from America’s worst terrorist attack continues. RIP to one and all.