With the 10th anniversary of 7/7 having just been yesterday, I thought it was rather fitting to post this today.
I didn't do too many touristy things in New York, however I just had to do the 9/11 memorial and museum.
We wanted to do the just opened viewing platform of the One World Trade Centre too, but as you can see, the clouds were so low we decided to skip it this time.
We decided to go for the guided tour of the museum, as I will be completely honest, I didn't know too much about 9/11.
Sure, I knew the atrocity of what happened, but I don't really remember the day as I was only 9 or 10 at the time. I knew the general outline of what happened, but not in detail, so me and Dan decided to educate ourselves and pay our respects by learning.
I'm not going to rehash the tour to you, as I'm sure you'd like to hear it for yourself, and also it can be quite upsetting at times. I'm not going to try and educate you as it's a sensitive subject that can mean many different things to different people, so instead I'm just going to show and tell you some of the fascinating, moving and quite unimaginable facts.
Everything in the museum is real, nothing is reconstructed, including the voice overs, which are pulled from everywhere including answering machines that day.
Compilations of missing persons posters were projected onto the walls of the initial part of the museum, which seeing the vast quantity really put it into perspective.
This art instillation represents each of the people who had lost their lives- each square is a person totally 2,977, not including the terrorists.
Each square is a different shade of blue, meaning there is 2,977 shades. Everyone is an individual and not one of these victims will become lost in part of a mass number.
Throughout the tour their were pieces of the wreckage, including the antenna of the top of the north tower. The sheer volume of it and how it had just been ripped right apart of startling.
As was the elevator cable being snapped.
To put it into perspective, this is a huge piece of steel that was running through the building as supports. Steel melts at around 1510 degrees C (2750°F). Therefore some parts of the building reached the unbearable 1510 degrees C that day.
A nicer part was seeing the Steps to Freedom. These are the steps that led of the plaza onto the street which was deemed out of harms way. All those escaping the world trade centers would have had to come down these steps to get away, hence the name.
These steps also had a covering over them, stopping falling debris and ash from harming people meaning they also helped save lives.
This totem, is a steel rod that again came from the supports of the building. It was found intact and became a totem for the services involved that day.
The numbers sadly represent how many each service unit lost that day.
The museum is built directly on the site of the attacks, and so throughout you can see parts of the original site like the foundations and parts of the walls.
The tour was both moving and informative and I came away with a much clearer head on what happened that day.
There is also the exhibition which goes into more detail, showing artifacts found that day like belongings. However naturally this is a no camera zone due to the sensitivity of it so you'll just have to go to see for yourselves.
Later on after we had been round the exhibition- which I'll tell you, I welled up on multiple occasions - we headed outside for fresh air, and to see the memorial.
2 huge fountains, covering the sites of the twin towers. Beautiful, respectful, but tinged with sadness, as I studied the names of the victims snaking round.
Again the sheer size, just puts everything into perspective. You can never truly imagine how big these giant buildings were until you see the site.
Sometimes I don't understand the human race. To actively go out and cause such mass devastation I'll never be able to wrap my head around.
However there is good too, the museum and memorial are educating people, strengthening and bring people together. Every person who walks through that building, comes together for a moment as they pay their respects and with the hope of a better world binding us all.
180 Greenwich St,