I have an emotional attachment to Ground Zero, the North Tower, South Tower, the World Trade Center complex. We always went downtown with every trip to New York City. On this visit I was not prepared emotionally or prepared as a tourist.
We were not ready for our journey into the Memorial. You still need a pass? Where do you get a pass? You got a pass a month ago? Walk 12 blocks round trip to get passes. Back in line. Security as tight or better than any airport. Pass and ID shown seven or eight times. Scan, X-Ray, searched, pat down, they have wands, tasers and guns. And still not even a glance of the memorial. It seems to be hidden, tucked away and wrapped in a blue tarp. Only people working in the offices above have a view of the memorial. Unless you are the hovering construction or security helicopter way up above. A commercial airplane flew over the main tower at One World Trade Center. You looked up and held your breath. It just flew over and went away.
Like cattle, we arrived at the final gate and had to wait our turn so the exiting visitors could leave. They were still silent and reverent. They had experienced something breath taking inside. Finally.........
You had to stop. Take it in. It's a beautiful sunny day. You think it is quite. A simple plane of grass and concrete walkways stretched out lined by trees and benches. You approach the South Tower first. Laid to rest in a fountain that falls into a hole in the middle of the imprint. Surrounded by the names of the heroes that were taken from us that day.
You walk around the massive imprint and you want to read and touch every name. But you stop to remember and reflect. Watch the people around you as they hug, cry, cross themselves, laugh, marvel, pray and hope.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET