I recently visited the 9/11 memorial at the World Trade Center, the sixteen acre Ground Zero site in lower Manhattan.  Words and pictures cannot convey its enormity.

I am in awe of the horror which was inflicted.  The newly opened museum creates a sobering, sad feeling of the reality.  It is darkened, suggesting the darkness of the unspeakable event and its effect on people’s lives.  The remnants are there…the collapsed fire engine, the papers, from important contracts to mundane shopping lists scattered about,  the pieces of building wreckage, the wallets, the melted cell phones.  In the background are heart wrenching recordings of calls to 911 and to loved ones.  “The building has been struck by a plane but they tell us we’re safe.”  “The building’s burning, hon, but they’re going to helicopter us off.”  “I’m going to get out of here but I want you to know how much you and the kids have meant to me and I know I’ll see you again.”

I cannot imagine the horror felt by the office workers and the absolutely brave responders.  What does it take to realize it’s over and to jump from the building, one woman even demurely pressing down her skirts as she lept, a final statement of dignity.

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The museum’s lower level is bounded in part by the so-called slurry wall, a wall of poured concrete which continues to hold against the Hudson River.

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I am equally in awe at what has been created in place of the demolished buildings.  The footprints of the collapsed north and south towers have been filled with dramatic pools whose walls are waterfalls, and which drain into smaller central pools.

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They are surrounded by new construction which also reflects surviving older buildings.

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The pools are bordered with blackened steel trim in which the names of all of the victims have been cut.  It is the custom to place a white rose with the name of any victim on his or her birthday.

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Elsewhere on the grounds are other signs of rebirth.  Here is part of the reconstruction of the Transportation Hub, called the Oculus, and suggestive of wings.

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Beneath the Transportation Hub there is the completed West Concourse whose brilliant whiteness is uplifting.

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There are upscale shops opening along the concourse, and it leads to the reconstructed Wintergarden, beautiful and with a stunning view of the Hudson and the New Jersey shore.

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Finally, there is an awesome symbol of the rebirth of the World Trade Center, the 1776 feet tall One World Trade Center.

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Profound Tragedy    ~~~   Rebirth



18 Responses to “THE 9/11 MEMORIAL”

  1. eajackson Says:

    Thank you for sharing. A emotional blog and images for sure. I love the reflection on the building. Now let me go wipe away my tears……………………

  2. Bonnie Says:

    Very moving photographs Ralph. Beautifully done.

  3. Roy Says:

    Great job, Ralph! Yes, it was a moving and very worthwhile trip to see everything we did, including St. Paul’s.

  4. fiebs Says:

    Beautiful, Ralph. Would love to get you in my classroom as a guest teacher sometime!

  5. Ken Curtis Says:

    Well done, Ralph. Thanks for posting.

  6. Sally Vennell Says:

    Thank you Ralph for this posting. We haven’t made it up there for the past 2 years and your pictures and comments make me more determined to get up there soon. Keep up the good work, Sally

  7. MikeP Says:

    Hey was just there 3wks ago… had a lot of trouble shooting a place where my best friend from HS died. I thought I could get through it, but was so overwhelmed. I left soon after arriving and shot all around the area… the PATH Line station under construction was my favorite to shoot. My fav of your shots is the reflected buildings grounded by the pool of water. Thanks for the re-visit through your eyes.

  8. Skip Vandegrift Says:

    Thank you, thank you for what you do and so eloquently share! Skip V.

  9. denisebushphoto Says:

    Beautiful and moving post Ralph!

  10. Ralph Berglund Says:

    Thank you, Denise. It is a difficult place to visit, to photograph, and more so, to write about. I’m glad I went to see something I was sorry happened. Everyone should go there.

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