Monday, October 10, 2011

9/11 Memorial

Tower One being constructed. Upon completion, it will be tallest building in North America.


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If I saw nothing else while in New York City but the 9/11 Memorial - Reflecting Absence - that would be enough for me. I never expected it to be so moving, so tasteful, so beautiful, and so fitting. This was definitely a well planned memorial to the 2,983 victims of the two terrorist attacks.

There are two fountains - one for Tower One, the other for Tower Two. Each one is the size of the base of the original Twin Towers. The names of each victim from the two towers, flight 93, flight 77, the Pentegon, and those killed in the terrorist attack to the towers in 1993 are engraved in the ledge around each fountain. They are beautifully done. Combined, the two fountains will circulate a total of 52,000 gallons of water per minute. The sound of the water is peaceful - a fitting tribute for the families of the deceased.

While walking around, I noticed a man running a crayon over paper over a name. I approached him and asked him if I may ask if this was a family member. He told me it was his nephew who had died. To the woman next to him, I asked, "Was this your nephew, too?" to which she replied, "No, this was my son." She went on to tell me her son had worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, the nation's leading bond brokerage firm, whose offices were in the 101st - 105th floors of the North Tower. All of the 658 employees of Cantor Fitzgerald who were in the office at the time of the attack, perished. I asked her what she was doing during the attack and she told me she was getting ready to come into the city and had been listening to the radio when she heard a plane had flown into one of the towers. She, like many of us, assumed it was a small, private plane in distress. Soon after, her daughter-in-law phoned her to tell her to turn on the TV.

As she was relating this to me, a tear fell from her eye. She said she had come to see the memorial on the 9/11 anniversary this year, but there were so many crowds of people that she became frustrated and went home. This day was her first visit. She took out a photo of her son and his family and gave me permission to photograph her holding it. Her name is Mirella. She was born in Italy and was proud to tell me her son spoke Italian as well as English. She went on to say her son's body had been identified the following June. One of his legs was missing. She was asked if she wanted to view it. She declined. I told her I would be praying for her and she thanked me.

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