Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Mom's Visit Part 3: 9/11 Memorial

Before her trip, my mom mentioned to me that she would like to see the new 9/11 Memorial when she was in town. You need tickets for that (they're free, you just need to request them ahead of time), so I took care of business and that's what we had planned for our Sunday morning during her visit.

Of course, you have to go through security and whatnot before getting to the memorial, and they had us show our tickets about 20 times before we were finally able to put them away and just explore the memorial at our own pace. Before we even got in to the plaza, we got this New Yorky sight:

A NYPD cop holding a pigeon! If only he were eating a slice of NY pizza while hailing a cab...then, this might be the most New Yorky picture ever taken.

The Memorial Plaza was beautiful. It is my understanding that they're still in the process of planting more trees, but it was quite nice as it was, and the new tower was looking very impressive overhead in the sunlight.

9/11 Memorial Plaza

The tallest of the new towers - we can see this one from Hoboken

The memorial consists of two pools of water where each of the two World Trade Center towers previously stood. Each pool has a cascading fountain that disappears into the ground, and each is surrounded by names of those lost in the World Trade Center (on 9/11 as well as in the 1993 bombing), at the Pentagon, on each of the planes (including Flight 93 in Pennsylvania), and first responders. I thought it was just beautifully done.

A look at one of the pools, and a closer look at the fountain along the sides

Names were organized by location

The water falls from the sides of the pool to that middle level, then falls again into the center opening. Very powerful.

We wandered slowly around each of the pools, reading over the names and reflecting. It was very emotional. The things that got to me most were seeing names of family members listed together, and seeing the names of women followed by "and her unborn child." I get choked up just thinking about it.

Exploring the memorial with my mom

One of many "and her unborn child" names we saw. I mean...I just can't even imagine. My mind and heart just can't even process it.

It was so moving. The whole memorial is so quiet and peaceful, it's hard to imagine the horror that took place in that location 10 years ago. I'm so glad there is such a lovely memorial in honor of those lives lost. They deserve nothing less.

If you are planning a trip to NYC in the near future, I highly recommend going to ahead of time and signing up for your free tickets to the memorial. It is definitely a sight to see.

Thanks to my mom for giving us a reason to get out to see this memorial sooner rather than later!

From there we moved on to lighter topics - namely, Christmas! Ah, something new and different. We took my mom to see the wreath around the Bull's neck, which was not there this year (in fact, the Bull is barricaded off, I suspect because of the Occupy Wall Street folks). So then we took her over to the Stock Exchange to see that Christmas tree, which was still in the process of being decorated. 

Only half the ornaments are on the tree!

Ornaments ready to go

The Stock Exchange

We paused briefly on Wall Street so Eric could point out where he filmed his movie debut, and then we headed home for lunch. After lunch we went back out on the town to give my mom a quick tour of Hoboken. We took her along the river, through Pier A Park and over to Washington Street. We took her past some of the big houses on Hudson Street, then up through the Stevens campus to Castle Point to check out the view. 

My mom checking out the view of downtown from Castle Point (the tallest building you see is that World Trade Center tower I posted a picture of above)

Achilles got to join us for this bit of sightseeing!

With my mom and my dog

I think he likes the view.

And that was basically it! We went back home for a bit then I took my mom to Penn Station and got her on the Long Island Railroad back to JFK for her return flight home. It was great having you, Mom! Thank you for coming!


Becky said...

It was my absolute pleasure. You guys are the best hosts and tour guides around. Thank YOU for a wonderful weekend filled with Christmas splendor, and one of my most favorite things: time with my family.

moderndaywife said...

That is so beautiful wow I would love to see it in person :-) How fun with your mom too!