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At the 9/11 Memorial
Published on September 26, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over the weekend, I had the chance to visit the 9/11 Memorial, which I wrote about today in my blog at the DG.

Here's an excerpt:

"I never had any interest in visiting Ground Zero, because it seemed like a sort of ghoulish and weird thing to do. I didn’t know any of the victims, and I didn’t like the idea of turning the site into a tourist attraction. But I felt perfectly comfortable visiting a memorial, and after watching some of the coverage of the 10th anniversary events, I knew that I wanted to go there myself. For me, the memorial provides a place to reflect upon the lives lost and the horror of what happened that day, which I think is important. September 11 had a broad and sweeping impact, resulting in wars, an overhaul of airport security and drastic changes to civil liberties, but the memorial takes you back to a time before that, when the scale of the attacks and the enormity of the loss were first becoming apparent.

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The 9/11 Memorial is free, but you need a ticket to get in at a certain time. I actually liked this system, because it keeps crowds down, and although I didn’t think it was necessary to show my visitor pass four or five times to enter the memorial (maybe three times would have been sufficient?) I appreciated the orderly approach. I had seen pictures of the memorial, but it was much more impressive in person. The memorial comprises two reflecting pools, each about an acre in size, located within the footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood. Each reflecting pool features an enormous waterfall that cascades into a smaller, central hole, and the site is surrounded by swamp white oak trees, which helps create a surprisingly peaceful atmosphere. Of course, the memorial is located in the heart of New York City, and the construction around the site is ongoing. I liked this contrast — the memorial is a quiet space, but the hustle and bustle of the city never full recedes."

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