It was teeming yesterday when I went with brother-in-law Russ, FOF sister Shelley, and son Colby to see the 9/11 Memorial. Russ had reserved tickets weeks ago, on the first day they became available online (he’s a pro at this). The wait for tickets is now two months so we weren’t going to let the rain deter us.
The focal points of the Memorial–two square “pools” that mark the footprints of the two fallen towers–are spectacular sights. Graceful waterfalls dance down the 30-foot sides of each pool, into two voids, fraught with symbolism. The names of the 2,977 people who died that horrible day, as well as the six who died in the 1993 bombing of the WTC, are cut into beautiful bronze borders that frame the pools.
We walked around both pools, spotting names we’ve heard over and over during the last decade, including Father Michael Judge, the Fire Department chaplain who was one of the first to die, and Todd Beamer, who shouted ‘Let’s roll!” to fellow passengers as they prepared to storm the cockpit of United Flight 93 over Shanksville, PA. We noticed a small purple daisy, its stem stuck into one of the letters of a name, as if the cut-out letter was a vase. Approaching the name, we read: Vanessa Langer and her unborn child. It was the first of many pregnant victims. Each name chilling to read.
Colby commented that it must give relatives and friends of victims some solace to see their loved ones honored this way. The rain poured into the names and thousands of drops glistened on the metal. It was an awful day out, but the Memorial lifted my heart.