Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday {Past Explorations}

It seems strange to be in New York for this year's memorial of 9/11. I can remember visiting the Twin Towers when I was eight, going all the way to the top, and being able to see the whole world from up there. A whole world of skyscrapers and concrete and ants.

Then, when I was fourteen, I remember those same strong concrete buildings falling down. I remember where I was - everyone does. I was at home, after school, working on a project with my best friend. We were at the big kitchen table, pages and papers spread out around us. The radio was playing. They said something about a plane flying into a building. I thought it was the strangest thing. I wondered what they meant. My mom came home - rushing in through the kitchen door - shocked that we didn't know what was going on.

We hurried up stairs, put the TV on, and there it was.

Last week we went to the 9/11 memorial. It was a calm, tranquil, beautiful space in which the tragedy could be remembered.

Each of the Twin Tower's footprints had been saved - with two gigantic squares in the exact spot where the buildings had been. These cut-outs featured 30-foot drops, with cascading water, which then flowed down into a second drop. From the edge, you couldn't see the bottom. The squares were edged with charcoal-grey slabs, listing all the names of the people who died, both on that day, and during the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Centre.

They're re-building. The whole thing. Not twin towers this time, but four skyscrapers, with another assortment of buildings around. And a whole 395 more trees than there were before. It's amazing to stand there, and see it all going up around you.

My favourite part of the whole thing? A couple of kilometres away, in the park by the Statue of Liberty ferry, is a sculpture entitled 'The Sphere'. This sculpture used to stand in the plaza of the World Trade Centre. On September 11 it was buried under the towers. When they finally got through the rubble, they found it still intact, with just a few minor scratches and scars, and moved it to the park. The bumps and bruises serve as a reminder of the events of that fateful day.

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