Last week Kongo visited the 9-11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City. Even after all these years it is difficult for anyone who lived through those dark days in September 2001 to view this site without a great deal of emotion. Words and pictures do not adequately convey the feelings this place evokes. Kongo lost friends and colleagues at the World Trade Center sites and at the Pentagon. Finding their names at the memorial, running your fingers across them, and listening to the waters helps bring closure but it is something that we will never forget. Nor forgive.
The memorial honors all of those who died on 9-11 and at the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, which killed six people. The two pools sit on the sites of the former Twin Towers, which were destroyed in the attacks.
The memorial was dedicated September 11, 2011, ten years after the attacks and opened to the public the following day.
Each pool is an acre square and intended to represent the loss of life and physical void left by the attacks. The sound of the falling water from the largest manmade waterfalls in the United States drowns out the city sounds so that the space can remain a sanctuary. Four hundred sweet gum and swamp white oak trees fill the six acre memorial.
Around the sides of the pools all the names are inscribed on bronze plates and include victims from the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93 which went down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The rising buildings that surround the site are a testament to the human spirit to survive, go forward, and never succumb to the dark forces that sometimes stand against us.
Because of the large numbers of visitors to the site, tickets are required. Tickets are free and can be acquired at the 9-11 Memorial Website at www.911memorial.org.