10.01.2014

NYC: The 9/11 Memorial Museum

We got to New York pretty late on Sunday night and took a super shuttle to our hotel.  I wasn't surprised that there was traffic that late.  I wouldn't expect anything less from NYC.  We stayed in Midtown Manhattan at West 57th Street by Hilton Club .  It's a few doors down from Carnegie Hall and perfectly situated near Times Square and Central Park.

MJ wanted to go into the Statue of Liberty Crown but apparently it's like the leaning tower of Pisa and you have to book it in advance.  The soonest we could get in was Friday.  We didn't book it that day and then there were no more available spots after that.



Going to the 9/11 memorial museum wasn't something we'd talked about doing or not doing but when Lady Liberty fell through we decided to go.  We took the subway to the World Trade Center and the first thing we saw on our way over is the two square shaped deep fountains side by side where the Twin Towers used to be.  Etched on every surface surrounding it are the names of people who lost their lives on 9/11.  It's still hard to believe that two giant buildings were there and now they are just gone and it's eerie to know that you are standing in a place where there was so much devastation.

If you book your tickets online or in advance you are given a time frame for which you are supposed to enter and after going through it I know why.  There is a lot to take in and they probably don't want traffic flow to clog up.  The building itself is huge and dimly lit.  There are firetrucks from that day on display and various beams of steel and concrete that survived the blast.  At first I didn't think there was going to be much to see because the main building is relatively sparse but once we got started in the exhibition room it felt like there was too much.  You can take pictures in the main area but once you get inside the Exhibition room there are no cameras allowed.  The memorial is set up sort like a timeline that takes you through all the events leading up to 9/11, what happened with each plane that crashed and then the aftermath.  It is comprised of photography, video, audio, wreckage, personal belongings and anything else that tells the story of 9/11.  It covers every perspective including the perpetrators, first responders, victims, survivors, families and anyone else that would have a story to tell about that day.  I didn't realize that there discreetly placed tissue box stands throughout the exhibit  until I needed one.  The audio recordings is what really got to me.  I heard the voice of a woman calling her husband.  Her voice broke as she said she hoped he'd see his face again.  She was on one of the planes so she never got to and even now when I think about that it brings tears to my eyes.  What really struck me is how calm and matter of fact most of the phone callers from the planes were.  I keep thinking I'd be a hysterical nightmare if I was in that situation and part of it has to be that they really didn't know just how dire their situation was.  It's dark, quiet and there is so much information that I lost track of time but I think we were in there for a pretty long time.  It was major sensory overload.  I wanted to see everything but after a while it gets to be too much.  It's still so surreal to think back to everything that went into that day.  Such evil and misery transpired on 9/11 and it's all there.  
Survivors' Stairs: Many people escaped on these stairs from a building adjacent to the towers
I felt a slightly conflicted about the whole thing.  It felt weird to be interested in going to see it.  It was weird listening to voice recordings of people who died, viewing blood stained pumps and ash covered metro tickets.  I hadn't seen footage of what happened in a long time.  There were videos and photos of the planes crashing into the towers, people jumping out of buildings and recordings of the terrorists voices.  It seemed almost wrong to have all of this deeply tragic and personal stuff on display so that people can buy tickets and come look at it.  At the same time I think it does need to be presented that way to most accurately convey the events to those who only watched it on TV and to future generations that will only read about it in history books.  It was a horrific crime and the memorial preserves and captures it in a way that hits home but is also respectful.  That being said, if I had lost someone in 9/11 or had a real life connection to it I don't know how I would feel about going there myself.  I'm just not sure I'd want to revisit those emotions in that way but I think it would be comforting to know that it's there.  People have to live with the loss of their loved ones every day and the memorial is a way to keep that memory alive not just for those who knew them but for the rest of the world.  Mixed feelings aside, I think it was very well done and I am glad we went. 
White Pizza
After that we needed food.  We hadn't eaten all day so we walked over to The Little Italy section in Lower Manhattan and ate Pizza at Lombardi's.   Delicious.  We strolled around town a little bit before taking the subway back to our hotel for the night.  Our feet were already killing us and it was just the first day.

NYC:  Live Studio Audience & The High Line


10 comments :

A Life Less Traveled said...

I have not been to NYC since the 9/11 memorial and museum opened, but find myself wanting to visit it.

Law_Fal said...

Wow. I can only imagine how surreal it must've felt to be there. Mind blowing, the magnitude of what occurred...

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

I went to the memorial last year and it's such a solemn beautiful place, they did such an amazing job. I love how they preserved the footprints of the towers and the little survivor tree in the middle. I don't remember going through a "museum of sorts" though. Maybe it's new? (I was there in 2013).

Faith said...

I haven't gone .. I think I will one day but just the thought of it makes me so sick to my stomach. I can't even imagine ... and when I read about the woman calling her husband saying that she hopes to see him again ... tears rolling down my face. Such evil and sadness that day. It still feels as raw as that day. I don't think time will ever make it seem any less horrible even for those who were not alive to feel the emotions.

Whitney Cypert said...

Just reading about the woman's voice calling her husband brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine that. I'm with you, I think I would have mixed emotions about visiting that place but overall I think it would be a good experience. That's kind of how I felt when we visited the beaches of Normandy where so many US troops were killed during WWII. It's a very different feeling. On a happier note...that pizza looks legit!

Ashley @ A Cute Angle said...

I love NYC. I went to the WTC site last year, but the museum wasn't open yet.

~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
acutelifesytle.blogspot.com

Newlyweds on a Budget said...

I couldn't hold back my tears as I walked around the memorial when we went last year. It was just too much. I thought it was beautifully done. The room that impacted me the most was the one with all the photos, and the fliers of people who had disappeared that day. Even now, I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

Chelsea said...

Very well written. I agree on being torn between wanting to see it and the reality of how devastating that day was. I've been to NYC one time on a mission trip with my church we went the summer following 9/11(the trip was planned before 9/11 happened and we didn't change it after we felt even more need to go) We visited ground zero while they were still removing the debris. All the surrounding buildings still had netting to catch what was unstable. Very very surreal feeling to be there.

Tricia Coniglio said...

That sounds really neat! As I was reading I thought it was a great idea to go because I would have liked to pay my respects to those who were there. But as I read some of the details that were there I was wondering if I would like it after all. Overall, if I go to NYC I will do it. And now I know to book the crown in advance!

The pizza looks amazing. and LARGE. LOL

Jenny said...

I don't think I could work up the emotional strength to go. Maybe it's because I live so close to the city and I know many people who knew someone who died that day. And my dad was supposed to be in the building next door that day but stayed home for a doctor's appointment. Thank God! It does sound like a once in a lifetime experience though. On a side note that pizza looks amazing!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...