2,977- Number of lives lost on 9/11.
I was skeptical about visiting the World Trade Center (WTC) Memorial & Museum because I thought it would be too sad. I remember that day clearly. Although I was young I will never forget that day.
I don’t think anyone has or ever will forget.
The tour wasn’t exactly a ‘happy’ tour, and I can’t lie and say I didn’t cry. But it was a beautiful tour. The stories of the fallen were beautifully told. The whole experience allowed me to walk away with an appreciation for America, New Yorker’s, and humanity in general.
Especially where we are at a point in time where our patriotism and humanity is being questioned.
Upon arriving you have to go through security. Just like the airport except you don’t have to take your shoes off.
After you’ve made it past security you’re in the museum.
As you begin to enter the museum you’ll run through a series of events from that morning, leading up to the events on 9/11. How each plane was hijacked; from where and when. You’ll hear people’s voices as you enter. Each telling a story about where they were and what they were doing on that morning.
Now I am not going to explain every step of the museum, because then why would you go visit. But instead, I am going to explain to you why should visit and why I walked away with a greater appreciation for our country and the people who defend and protect us.
The WTC Memorial & Museum is not focusing on how lives were lost that day. But instead, on how they lived and what they are remembered for. Their legacy.
If you’ve read some of my blog posts then you already know why I aspire to inspire people to live their dreams. To enjoy life. You might have also read about the loss of my brother and how I’ve chosen to focus on the life he lived rather than how he died. Essentially this was the most horrific event in my life that changed me. Changed who I was and encouraged me to do what makes me happy.
Because that what life is all about, right?
As you walk through the museum and memorial you’ll read, hear, and see stories and artifacts from people who risked their lives that day. Stories about courageous men and women who are still remembered today for the type of people they were when they were alive.
You’ll hear about what people did for each after 9/11 to help cope with a loss. For example, FDNY Ladder Company 9 rebuilt a Honda 1979 motorcycle. They call the ‘Dream Bike’. Honda donated parts and to firefighters all over New York that bike is a greater representation than just a motorcycle. There are ten roses painted on the cover of the gas tank that symbolize the members of Ladder Company 9 and Engine Company 33 who were killed on 9/11.
We’ve all heard of the firefighters and police officers who came from every New York City Borough to help that day. Some had either just worked a full night shift and heard the call on the radio and thought; ‘I’ll make it home in time for dinner”, but never made it to dinner. Other’s weren’t even working and just came to ‘help’. Well, they didn’t just come from New York City. Firefighters came from New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut and even Chicago. Yup, Chicago!
I could write 1000 stories about each ever single person that worked as a police office or as a firefighter who risked their lives that day. Even about the general civilian’s who risked their lives that day.
It all comes down to one truth: They risked their own lives for the lives of others.
Only 20% of the visitors come from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In contrast, residents from the same region accounted for 41% of attendance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2015.
I can understand why New Yorker’s are finding it hard to visit the WTC Memorial & Museum. No one likes death and certainly not such a horrible tragedy. But the Memorial & Museum doesn’t focus on the death. In fact, the memorial is isolated from the rest of the museum. You don’t actually have to visit the memorial.
The Memorial carries all 2,977 names and faces of those we lost that day. From the CEO to the doorman, everyone is there and their stories are being told. The Memorial cycles through the 2,977 names daily. It also goes through a voice recording (from the families of the those lost on 9/11) of memories and how each person lived their lives. Where they worked, what they did for fun, how they treated people etc.
While I was there I heard a story about Sarah (told by her sister) and how she loved to go shopping and find discounts. How she always bought for others rather than herself.
I can tell you from first hand that sharing memories about someone you lost will only make them feel more alive. It will also make you feel better about having known them. The pain of losing a loved one will never go away. But remembering how they lived, how they smiled, how they laughed, the moments you shared, that keeps them alive.
See when I walked out of the WTC I didn’t feel sadness. I felt a greater appreciation for life and people around us. It was a little reminder that we shouldn’t lose faith in each other and in the world. With so much negative energy in the world right now it’s like we can’t focus on the good we have. I walked away with a greater appreciation for humankind and the people who fight and protect us. I was proud to be American.
Not saying I wasn’t before I visited the WTC, but I certainly received a little reminder that day.
I wish this never happened. And it saddens me to say that losing so many lives changed New Yorker’s that day. In fact, is changed the world. The whole world was affected!
But as I continued to walk through the memorial I could only focus on the beauty I was hearing about people helping each other. Before during and after. Even though we were at our lowest and we could have let something like this destroy us, but we stood up together and fought through.
The WTC Memorial & Museum only gave me a greater feeling of what they were trying to embrace: Living life and creating a legacy.
So the next time we want to burn flags, hate on our president, police officer,firefighters, members of the armed forces or hate each other; please remember these are the people who defend, protect, and fight for our country. And because of them, we live our lives and leave a legacy.
Information For Visiting WTC
How Do Get To The WTC?
Coming from New Jersey:
Train: Hoboken Terminal PATH TRAINS to the WTC
Transit: Buses into Port Authority (42nd and 8th Ave) and then take the subway (1,2 or A,C,E) to Cortland Street or Rector Street or WTC.
Coming from Connecticut:
Train: Grand Central Terminal (42nd and Park Ave) then take the subway (1,2 or A,C,E) to Cortland Street or Rector Street or WTC.
How Much Are The Tickets For The WTC Memorial Museum?
** Free Admission Tuesday tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the Museum starting at 4 p.m. Distribution time subject to change.**
For more information on ticket prices click here.
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