This was the first thing we booked and planned from the moment we knew we were going to New York. If you were alive on September 11, 2001 you immediately know and remember where you were when the events of that day unfolded at the World Trade Centers in New York City.I was a senior in high school, who had just sat down in my accounting class. News had spread in the halls that a plane hit the World Trade Center. We turned on the television just in time to see the second plane hit the North Tower.My husband living in California woke up to the news and watched horrified like everyone else. He joined the U.S. Air Force shortly afterwards. This single day changed how American looked and viewed the world. It changed how we travelled, it changed our attitudes and views on other countries and overall that day made us scared as what was to come next. To go to Ground Zero was a must for us and in our opinion for anyone travelling to NYC for the first time.
The memorial of the pools sits on ground zero. The pools are the original footprints of the North and South Towers. The museum itself sits 70 feet below the surface and goes all the way down to the original foundation poured for the towers. When you enter the museum in addition to seeing the original foundation, you see the still in tact wall holding the Hudson river at bay. You see now historical items such as the survivor staircase that was the only way out for hundreds of people.
You hear the stories of survivors and see artifacts from that day. You see the damage done to the city and the New Yorkers who were there that day living their normal life and you see the first responders who risked and gave their life while doing their jobs. While seeing these things is very intense, you also hear the phone calls from victims made to 911 and their loved ones. Crash artifacts are also on exhibit from the United 93 flight and the Pentagon.
The entire museum is very intense. We did the guided tour and got to hear the stories and facts of many artifacts that you would normally just walk by and read. Hearing the actual words was very powerful. Being there in New York, having walked the streets you see how that day really affected people there that day, in the city. I can't even imagine being anywhere near there on that fateful day. Below is the original foundation to the towers.
The museum is also home to the unidentified remains of victims. Closed off and behind a wall, only accessible to the families of victims, is the corners office where to this day they are still trying to identify some of the victims remains for families to have closure.
No photography is allowed in the artifacts room. This is where you hear the victims in their own voices saying goodbye to their loved ones via 911 calls and voicemails. You see their bloody shoes from walking miles home. You see scrapes of paper burned from the towers. You see five floors of concrete smashed and melted to one foot thick. Out of respect to all who lost their lives you do not take photographs.