When my wife Kathy and I went to New York City this past weekend, we did a lot of the things visitors do. For example, since I'm interested in all things transportation, we toured The High Line--a terrific public park built on the remains of elevated freight rail tracks on the West Side.
But nothing affected us as deeply as the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
The 9/11 Memorial occupies approximately half of the 16-acre site of the former World Trade Center, and it is magnificent. With a host of trees and the serenity of the Glade, the contemplative setting stands in stark relief to the busy activity of Lower Manhattan. The beautiful museum building, with its haunting artifacts and oral histories, offers even more opportunity to consider what happened that day.
But, for me, the most affecting aspect of the 9/11 Memorial is the pair of enormous waterfalls and the one-acre square reflecting pools they surround. These two squares are set within the footprints of the original twin towers and ringed with the names of the thousands who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11. These names remind us that what we think of as a national event had profound consequences for individuals, families, and communities.
I don't think I've ever seen a more remarkable reminder of loss. It's impossible to stand before these pools without thinking of the two 110-story towers that once stood in that same plaza and the lives forever marked by the towers' destruction.
The designers and planners of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum got this one right. I commend them for honoring the lives of those who died and capturing the seriousness of what happened on 9/11 in such a compelling way, and I urge you to visit this important site.