The 9/11 Memorial

Manhattan Travel Blog

 › entry 748 of 1090 › view all entries
The south basin

On the 11th of November 2001 at 8:46 AM CET (14:46 PM CET) flight AA11 made the start of one of the best know and dramatic terrorist attacks in the World's history. The Boeing 767, originally destined to fly to Los Angeles crashed into the North Tower of the World trade Center in New York City. Only 17 minutes later the South Tower was hit in a similar way by another Boeing 767, flight UA175, also originally meant to fly to Los Angeles.

Everybody knows how it ended. At 9:59 AM the South Tower collapsed, followed by its northern twin at 10:28 AM. A third and smaller tower which was damaged by the falling debris of the North Tower finally collapsed at 5:21 PM. About 200 desperate persons jumped to their deaths in a dramatic effort to escape the flames caused by the crashes.

The new One World Trade Center under construction, but already scraping the clouds
Eventually, more than 2600 persons got killed during the collapse of the two giant towers.

At that time it had only been a few years since I had visited the Twin Towers and stood on the panorama roof of the South Tower. At that day it was pretty cloudy so I had not taken one photo, assuming I would come back one day...

The debris has been cleared for years, construction of a new tower has started and at the location of the former towers a memorial has been constructed, the 9/11 Memorial. Architect Michael Arad constructed two huge and deep water-filled pits at the size of the former towers and installed waterfalls at each side of these pits. The waterfalls are the largest man-made waterfalls in the US. Small walls surround the pits and falls and contain the names of all the known victims.

The south basin with the names of a few victims
Not only of the WTC attacks, but also of those who died in similar attacks on the Pentagon in DC and of a 4th plane (UA93) that crashed in Pennsylvanian woods before it could cause any damage.

The 9/11 Memorial can be visited. But one has to reserve tickets in advance. Way in advance! I had reserved my tickets somewhere in September. I had picked today (9 November) because in European date format (d/m) it was once again 9/11.

The ticket advised me to be at the site at exactly 6pm. Getting access tot the memorial was quite an event. I arrived at 5:50pm and showed my ticket to person #1 who said I could proceed. I was surprised by the easy way I could proceed. I had expected heavy security etc. But, I had not arrived at the site yet. A second person, now in uniform wanted to see my ticket as well he also needed an ID.

The south basin
Then I got to a 3rd person. I walked further and a 4th person needed to scan my ticket. Immediately after that I entered a space with X-ray scanners, just like at the airport. Person #5 and #6 took care of the scan formalities and I was good to go. But NO, a person #7 was already eager to punch a tiny hole in my admission ticket. He warned me that more checks would come. And indeed a person #8 and #9 were positioned right in front of the monument access. They were very busy chatting with each other so I just walked by them. Seven times was enough!

At that time I had walked quite a distance, but it was worth all the trouble. The monuments were really impressive and very tasteful. It was a very strange idea, the last time I had walked here the deep pits had been the 417-meter (1368-ft) high North Tower and 415-meter (1362-ft) high South Tower.

Some snapshots of "Ground Zero" over time. (Photos: Google Earth and Wikipedia)

I returned home very impressed. I just wanted to tell my parents about the visit when they informed me they had managed to get tickets for that same day, at 4 PM. So they beat me to visiting the site...

More pictures below! Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat deze rare website toestaat dat de bijgesloten foto ook vertoond wordt. Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat deze rare website toestaat dat 

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The south basin
The south basin
The new One World Trade Center und…
The new One World Trade Center un…
The south basin with the names of …
The south basin with the names of…
The south basin
The south basin
Some snapshots of Ground Zero ov…
Some snapshots of "Ground Zero" o…
One of the few pillars of the WTC …
One of the few pillars of the WTC…
The north basin
The north basin
The north basin
The north basin
The new One World Trade Center und…
The new One World Trade Center un…
The north basin
The north basin
The Memorial Museum
The Memorial Museum
The south basin
The south basin
Manhattan
photo by: Fitnessguru729