Roughly two weeks ago I was in Manhattan with my kids, and one of the first things that we did was visit the National September 11 Memorial in Manhattan. I honestly was a bit out of it, living quite far away, and while I was aware that there had been a competition for the design of the memorial, I had no knowledge of the winners or what exactly the memorial looked like, except something having to do with water. And boy was I presently surprised, as the winning design is truly spectacular— dramatic, moving, and really everything that a memorial to remember the horrific events on September 11 should be.
I just now did a little research on google to see who the designers were, and learned that the winning entry is called Reflecting Absence, by Michael Arad and Peter Walker. The design consists of a field of trees interrupted by two large voids which contain recessed pools of falling water, and mark the footprints of the Twin Towers.
The names of the victims of the attacks (including those from the Pentagon, American Airlines flight 77, United Airlines flight 93) are laser cut from metal parapets surrounding the waterfalls, and one can read all the names as one circles each of two identical waterfalls. We were especially surpised to see how many firefighters and rescue workers perished.
Even after such a horrific event, life must go on, at the very least in order to honor and remember those who perished. And speaking of moving on, the new World Trade Center tower, 1 World Trade Center, seen above, is completed on the outside, making its own statement on the Lower Manhattan skyline.
Since 2008 New Yorkers have witnessed the building of this beacon at the pace of a floor a week. And as it turns out, this building may not be the tallest in the world, but it is an amazing example of "green" construction, and built with more safety precautions than ever.
So, when in Manhattan, or even anywhere within driving proximity, a visit to The National September 11 Memorial is a must.....and don't be surprised when you see that it is packed, — it has become an important destination for tourists, and school groups, and families with kids of all ages.