Just this past weekend for Mom's 90th Birthday celebration, I had the opportunity to visit the National 9/11 Memorial And Museum. And let me tell you - It's something you should absolutely see in your lifetime.
We started out first by the reflection pools. Still to this day, people leave flowers in specific people's names etched into the steel columns that outline what was at one point the Twin towers. There's a somber feeling - Almost like you're attending church for prayer.
We took time to pray for the ones we lost, and also admire the beautiful new construction around the holy site. Like the new World Trade Center tower. Look at how beautiful and majestic it is - A tribute to America, and showing that we are a strong Nation.
Then came the actual Museum. It was an experience in which I couldn't even finish, as I was so overwhelmed with emotion.
You see relics, videos, photos, and more at the site - Some of which are extremely painful to look at. There's video of people jumping out of the towers. There's steel beams that are twisted and bent like toys. This is of a Fire truck that was parked underneath one of the towers.
There was a woman standing next to me who looked distraught. She was visiting the site last Saturday like I was, and you wouldn't have known much about her had I not struck up a conversation with her. She told me in vivid detail how she escaped tower 1 mere minutes before it collapsed. She ran from the cloud of debris as fast as she could, and luckily survived that, let alone being in the buildings.
She also pointed out a piece of steel to me, that is believed to be exactly where the first plane hit. She was not many floors below that point of impact, and two of her closest friends perished. I will never forget that conversation I had with her.
I'll also never forget an interview that I did with a woman who was there with the Red Cross, days after the attacks. She came back up to Syracuse to visit with family in between helping out at Ground Zero. She wanted to get away from the scene of the destruction. So she went to the Statue of Liberty at night. She vividly described the scene of looking out over the harbor at the skyline, and still smelling the smoke coming over from the area. I'll never forget it.
Today, we remember those we lost, and those who stepped up in a time of uncertainty and sorrow. I'll be thinking of all of those brave men and women today. I hope you will too.