9/11 is history for my students, but for me it was truly the moment I realized that horrible people do exist in the world. I was in 6th grade and still pretty naive. If you are making a trip to NYC you owe it to yourself to make this a stop. The memorial is free and breathtaking. I could not think of a more beautiful and meaningful memorial. One of the sweetest things I witnessed was the white roses placed on a victim’s name on their birthday. We went on a rainy day, which made the occasion even more somber than it would usually be.
There is also a museum that I recommend. We booked our tickets in advance (you pick your arrival time). You can check out the website and book tickets here. I recommend arriving WELL before your scheduled time, because we ended up waiting in a pretty long line. Also be sure you are in the RIGHT line! Thankfully a nice man helped us find the correct line.
The museum itself is incredible. I do not think I have ever been in a museum where everyone is so silent…everyone in the museum seemed to be in their own world, privately reflecting on this horrible tragic day. It was very moving, and I would be lying if I said I did not cry (multiple times)…but I think it was something that needs to be seen. The memorial inside to the victims is probably the most emotional. The curator of the museum did an incredible job capturing the emotions felt through the day in a range of media (photographs, film, voice recordings and memorabilia).
“No day shall erase you from the memory of time”
My favorite thing in the museum had to be this wall. It was here that they tried to recreate the blue sky of the morning of 9-11. I loved the quote that can be seen on this wall.
If you find yourself in NYC I truly urge you to visit this museum. Yes, it is extremely sad and you will leave the museum feeling very down, but while in the museum you are also reminded of the bravery and camaraderie the people of NYC showed that day. I was also able to buy the book I read my class every year on 9-11 in the museum store, so know when I read it to my class it will hold a little bit more meaning.