Two Teens And Their Mama: 9/11: We Remember And Pray

Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11: We Remember And Pray


What do you remember from that day in 2001?  I had just started my morning routine, preparing to get my older son up for school, when my husband called and told me to turn on the TV.  All of our lives changed in that moment.

As our country commemorates the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, I wanted to share my recent visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York.

I've never been anywhere so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

The museum is separated into three parts:  the Foundation Hall, the Memorial Exhibition, and the Historical Exhibition.

The Foundation Hall was built around a surviving retaining wall from the original World Trade Center.  It's main feature is the Last Column, which stands 36 feet tall and is covered with momentos placed there by rescue workers. When the South Tower collapsed, this piece remained anchored in the bedrock, buried beneath the wreckage.  It stood as a hopeful symbol during the recovery period, and was eventually removed from the site in a special ceremony in 2002.



This art piece adorns a wall in the Foundation Hall.  People who were in New York City that day were asked to paint their interpretation of the sky on 9/11. The differences in shades of blue are beautiful and telling.



The footprint of one of the towers surrounds the space.  I was amazed at how small it was.



The Memorial and Historical Exhibitions respectfully do not allow photography. The "Wall of Faces" defines the Memorial Exhibition, with portrait photographs of the almost 3,000 people who perished that day.  There are also touchscreen kiosks, to learn more information about each person, through audio recorded by family members and friends. 

Finally, there is the massive Historical Exhibition, divided into three parts. The "events of the day" includes artifacts, images, and real time audio recordings to provide insight into the experiences of the victims, civilians and first responders.  I sat in a small theater and listened to audio of the telephone messages left by the passengers on Flight 93, as they realized their plane had been taken over by hijackers.  There was definitely a peaceful presence guiding those brave souls in their final moments. 

"Before 9/11" explores the evolution of al-Qaeda and the planning and training that led up to the attack.  The "After 9/11" section includes thousands of items donated by families of the victims, and presents the evolving nature of how we understand this historical, life changing event.

I cried my way through the three hours I was at the Museum, as did most everyone around me.  Even the children were quiet and subdued.  I will forever be thankful and honored that I was able to pay my respects to those directly affected on that terrible day.



We dream that eventually our entire world will be a safe place for everyone, and another memorial museum like this one never has to be built.  Until then, we remember, and pray.

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I hope you'll head over to The Blended Blog today.  On Friday's we'll be sharing interviews with our contributors, so you can get to know us better.  First up is Deena, our creative leader and one of the most amazing ladies I've met in the blog world.  Come join us!






30 comments:

  1. I remember the skies being so blue in Prince Albert that day, it was a beautiful fall day and all we could do is stare at the TV in disbelief.

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    1. I remember that it was a beautiful day here too - and so unbelievable.

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  2. I haven't yet made it to the memorial, but I did go there once right after and again a couple of years later. I really want to go see this as well. We wrote about the exact same thing today! The coincidences are piling up haha! Have a great weekend!

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    1. My husband and I were there in 2005 when they were still working on clearing the site and building the memorial pools. We were able to go into the church across the street and it was so beautiful.

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  3. Wonderful tribute.

    We were on our way to Toronto and just before leaving saw it on the TV. The whole drive to Toronto we were listening to the radio in horror and disbelief.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  4. I used to work in WT2. I still look at the skyline in NY and can't wrap my brain around the fact that it isn't there anymore.

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    1. I can't even imagine how you must feel. I never saw the towers in person.

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  5. This was beautifully written! Visiting the memorial is one of the things I want to do the next time I'm in NY.

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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    1. I hope you get a chance to go Jill - it's worth the visit.

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  6. I remember there was a small museum in Newark and they had one of the first 9-11 memorials, so soon after it happened. Months, really. I went to visit it as a journalist student and wrote an article about it. It was a garden.
    I was very close to 9-11 - close enough to see the smoke in the sky and to be grateful that my boyfriend who worked in the World Trader Center... always got to work around 10:00am because he couldn't hack 9:00am.
    It might have been a very different life for me, but sadly it was for others. For all of us.

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    1. Wow, what a story about your boyfriend. I can't imagine actually being in the area that day.

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  7. Cried through this whole post, Lana. My husby called me and told me to turn on the TV as well. My second son and I sat there, horror-stricken for the entire day. I'll never forget it. None of us will. Thank you for this tender post.

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  8. such a sad sad day, even as a Canadian, I still remember where I was when I saw the news. I pray nothing like this ever happens again.

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  9. I was living in Arizona at the time of the attacks. It's crazy because it was the farthest i'd ever lived from my New York home. I grew up with the towers, we drove by them, and visited them when I went to work with my dad. I called everyone I knew that day who lived in new York. My father in law was a first responder, he hates being called a hero but he really is one. I hope to visit the museum soon, it's just a train ride away! Thanks for sharing your experience!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Angela. How amazing that your father in law was a first responder. He is definitely a hero!

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  10. I haven't been to the museum, but I've heard it's really moving. I was at home with my preschooler that morning, when someone told me to turn on the TV. Such a shocking, sad time that we will never forget!

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  11. I was in New York when 9/11 happened and lived through a lot of the aftermath...long story, it was horrible and something I will never forget. I've been to the memorial as well and it is very touching
    Your post is beautifully written and brought tears and a lot of memories for me.
    Nora
    www.jacketsociety.com

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    1. Thank you Nora. I'm so sorry that you had to experience that day.

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  12. Thank you Lana, for this glimpse of the memorial. I have not been there, but I am sure it is an incredibly emotional experience. Just listening to a choir of kids sing the national anthem before a high school soccer game on Friday had me in tears - remembering the emotions of that terrible morning as the news filtered to us from our tv.

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    1. It's still emotional even now, isn't it?

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  13. I don't think many people will forget where they were on this horrible and epic day, I was off work that day, preparing to take my husband to a job interview. As he was getting ready I turned CNN on as I used to watch it daily. I was floored and shocked... It was a very sad day for so many people, it touched so many around the world xox

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