Life is like a 5th grade slumber party: a mix of love, friendship, gossip, food, laughs, heartache, and cute pajamas.
Monday, January 16, 2012
I spent the afternoon at the 9/11 Memorial site in Lower Manhattan, walking around the two huge building-footprint fountains, reading the names, and trying to imagine what it must have been like for them on that day a little over ten years ago.
Today was bright and blue and bitter cold. With pass in hand, I worked my way through the security checkpoints (the pass is checked four or five times during the entry process) and made my way to the fountains. The names are arranged by special groupings - First Responders, World Trade Center South or North, etc., which is a nice touch, more personal, than if they were listed alphabetically. The names include not only those who died in the towers on 9/11, but those who died at the Pentagon, on Flights 175, 77, 11, and 93, and at the World Trade Center in 1993.
While I didn't read every single name, I did walk along all four sides of both fountains touching and reading names along the way. It hit me harder than I thought it would. Each one of those people had families, friends, and co-workers who are left with memories, whys, and what-ifs. I was surprised by the number of women's names that included "and her unborn child" etched along the walls. Sad, sad, sad.
The museum is not yet open (I recommend visiting St. Paul's Chapel for a good collection of 9/11 memorabilia), so I'll have to go back when it's complete. But on this freezing cold January day, it was enough to take time to walk around touching the names of the people who lost their lives in this one particular slice of Hell on September 11, 2001.