Never Forget....18 years later

YYZed

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Watching over you from everywhere
I visited the memorial and museum back in June, and it is a somber, hauntingly-chilling experience. It's a must do for anyone who finds themselves in NYC. The hotel we stayed at in the financial district was a very short walk away from the WTC, and I couldn't help but think of what people were going through that day every time I stepped foot out the door.
 

Q™

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Never forget this...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
 
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Fastb

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I was born in NYC. The WTC towers were a source of pride for New Yorkers.
When 18, I had a job a few blocks away, while the 2nd tower was still under construction. On the subway to work, I'd get off right after the WTC. Those stations took years to reconstruct after 9/11.

My uncle had been a NYC firefighter, and had retired before 9/11.
I had relocated to Seattle years before 9/11. We (me, wife, 2 daughters) went back often to visit NY relatives. We had flew in Dec 2001. We visited ground zero 3 months after 9/11.

What a horrendous site. I can't count how many times I cried.
- when we rounded corners and were next to crushed firetrucks. The names of the lost firefighters from that truck's firehouse were painted on the side. Maybe 25 names. A gut-punch.
- for blocks around, seeing the front doors of building with red spray painted X, to signify the buildings had been searched for bodies.
- every block or two, collections of hand-made signs of "Have you seen this person?", with pictures. Regular people. Gut punch.
- a wrought-iron fence, with dozens and dozens of dirty t-shirts worn by people who had worked on search and clean-up. The shirts were from volunteers from across the country, with logos from FD, PD, nat'l guard, military, etc.
- the pit that was still being cleaned out, actively, swarming with too many workers to count. Looking for body parts, anything.
- many firehouses with sandwich boards with the names of who was lost from that firehouse.
- block after block of damage, simply huge, with so many damaged and destroyed buildings surrounding the WTC complex.
- the scorched smell, even months later.

During my visit, I talked with another uncle, who watched both towers collapse from his apartment window in mid-town. I asked;
"Have you visited Ground Zero?"
He said "New Yorkers don't go there. It's not a tourist site. We won't go to gawk"

I wanted my pre-teen daughters to witness ground zero. We had taken them to the top observation decks on previous visits, before 9/11. This was historic, monumental, and they should see it, to see what changed the world. We were respectful and somber. We didn't gawk. Tho we saw gawkers, and heard many languages from tourists visiting from around the world.

Last year I visited the new WTC and the museum. The museum is well done, but for me, didn't adequately represent the scale of the devastation I saw in Dec 2001. No big gut-punches. Truly representing the enormous scope of the disaster might be impossible. A museum may be too small, too sanitized.

We'll never forget.....
 
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