I was 11 years old when I saw on tv what was going on in New York City. I wasn’t there but I will never forget those scenes and the day who changed the world. After 17 years my dream came true, I visited New York City. One day was dedicated to the visit of Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Come with me and I will tell you my experience in one of the most touching place in the entire world.
On the 11th September 2001 the world changed…
In Lower Manhattan in the core of the financial district there were the most tallest building in New York: the twin towers. I know that it is useless to tell you what happened after that tragic day because you know the story. Today in that place there are two fountains who cover the space once occupied by the towers. There are all the names of those people who died in the tragic attack. When I first came to this place there was nothing but silence around me. The only thing I could hear was the sound of the fountain and the pain suffered by those people.
My eyes looked up to the sky and met the new tallest building in New York the so called Freedom tower or One World Observatory. It is very beautiful, astonishing but I couldn’t stop thinking about how was the sky when there were the twin towers. The skyline of the Big Apple changed forever and I turned around thinking about the scenes I saw on tv that day. I closed my eyes and I prayed. Suddenly I opened my eyes when I heard the siren of an ambulance…I was scared because my mind went there to that day again…
The visit of the 9/11 Memorial Museum
It was really strange to visit the 9/11 Memorial museum (which is close to the fountains) because normally we are used to visit museums that talk about the past, past wars, events, artists and so on. This time for me was different because I have visited a museum that talks about my generation about the history I have lived (even if only in an indirect way). It is important to be aware of what happened that day, to touch the feelings of those who suffered and lost their families, friends and colleagues in the most tragic terrorist attack in the world.
The museum is made of finds, ruins, pieces all the evidence of that tragic attack. There are ruins of the towers, objects that belong to the people, covers of magazines, pictures, video, stairs, the truck of the firemen… there are the pictures, the names and the testimonies of the survivors. In the biggest section of the museum you are not allowed to film or take pictures because of the nature of the finds and testimonies. You can travel through that day again analyzing all the moves of the planes and of the people who were just going to work as they did every day.
It was touching…I cried. I remember the news, I remember the scenes and I was there in the museum living everything again. I could only try to imagine the pain of those who were there involved in the attack. Some people told me that it is unfair to build a museum made of the pain of destroyed families displaying finds and personal objects of those who died. If on one hand this could be partly true on the other one this is the only way to tell our contemporary story. I have always felt involved in the 9/11 even if I am not even American! I have been criticized for this but I don’t care because despite of my love for the US and New York I feel I am citizen of the world and probably more people should feel the same.
The visit to the 9/11 Memorial museum gives the opportunity to know more about that tragic day, to feel the pain of the people involved, to pray, to reflect, to feel involved in something bigger than us. There were so many things to read, watch and listen. I felt bombarded by the voices of the speakers of the news and the voices of the testimonies. At one point I felt I couldn’t go on visiting the museum but then something caught my attention. It was a ring, the ring of Rosemary Smith who was a dedicated worker and her strong work ethic cost her precious time to escape. She was the only one of her company who did not survive. She stayed behind to finish her job.
This is only one of the stories of the 2977 people who died due to the attack. That ring is only one of the evidence of the tragic event, it is just one example of how tragic that day was for the world. I suggest you to visit the 9/11 museum because visiting a city is not only having fun and taking pictures it is also about being more aware of our history no matter what is our religion or race. This is our story as part of the world. I was grateful to have the change to visit this museum. Thank you for this opportunity! I will never forget!