Thursday, October 4, 2012

911 memorial

When my parents where visiting we took them to see the 911 memorial, it was something that I wanted to do since it opened. The memorial was designed by architect Michael Arad in conjunction landscape architect Peter Walker, their design has been selected in a design competition and evolves around two reflecting pools in the footprints of the twin towers. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels surrounding the Memorial pools, there are 2,983 names in total that have been chosen to be displayed in a random order. All the trees on the memorial site are Swamp white oaks except for one Callery pear tree that was found in the rubble in the plaza of the World Trade Center. The damaged tree was originally planted in the 1970s has been now nursed back to health and planted at the memorial and is now know as the Survivor Tree.

My initial reaction upon seen the pools was how beautiful the water looks cascading down into them but then I started thinking about what had happened in that exact spot and I felt my chest tighten and the water rushing down turned into something more sinister. I am not sure if it was the intent of the architects but the falling water reminded me of the falling towers and looking at the black bottomless hole in the center of each pool gave me a chill down my spine. It was really interesting to observe the reactions of everyone looking into the pools, I saw a couple of people crying, some just quietly looked around but I haven't seen anyone that was not moved in some way. Standing in a spot where so many people have lost their life is definitely something emotional and everybody's emotions are as different as the people experiencing them. Have you ever visited the memorial and if so what did you experience?

PS. Unfortunately the museum on the grounds is not open yet and I could not find a specific date when it will be opened. 


  1. Gorgeous photos, Nina. And what an interesting (and apt) connection I think you made, about the falling water and falling towers. I'm not sure what to make of it myself, but I like that you made the connection. I'm anxious to get there myself. The last time we were there, it was still a construction site.

  2. This is a beautiful and appropriate memorial to commemorate the victims of 9/11. It's probably so much more overwhelming in person than it is in photos, but even in your photos it's really powerful. Sam visited it too when she was here in August and found it so moving, the way the water just pours into the endless black bottom of the pools. I'm so happy that survivor tree survived!

  3. I haven't visited the memorial but I visited the site in the early stages of construction and even there, there were flowers and coins scattered all over the construction site. But you're right, with this type of memory and memorial, we will never forget

  4. I've never been to New York (!) but would definitely like to visit the memorial when I do make it there. My stepson is going there with school this summer, and they're taking the 90 13-year-olds to the site. I'm curious what impact it will have on them, since they are not old enough to remember 9/11.

  5. I am looking forward to our next trip to NYC in part because I want to go to the memorial. I can't imagine how overwhelmed I will be to go there in person.

    However, I do recall while watching coverage on the 10th anniversary, the names are not, in fact, randomly placed:

    According to the website: 'the design concept “allows us to place the names of those who died that day next to each other in a meaningful way, marking the names of family and friends together, as they had lived and died."' This is something that I think is really cool and special, and must mean a lot to the family and friends of those who died. Apparently the firefighters' names were placed with special care, fathers and sons and brothers and best friends are placed together...

  6. Would you believe I haven't been to the monument?! Thanks for sharing these images Nina!

  7. I haven't been there yet and also palling to go. Yes, I can only imagine that it must be quite an emotional experience.


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