I was working in NYC on 9/11 so of course remember it very well in a personal way. While I had visited the reflecting pools which were built on the exact sites of the Twin Towers, I had not been to the memorial museum before but now felt up to doing that.
Firstly I would say that it is very hard to create this type of memorial and it has been done sensitively but honestly too. There are some excellent short movies about the day and an enclosed exhibition where no photos are allowed which covers some of the the more personal and therefore upsetting stories including video of those who jumped rather than burn to death.
There are many parts of what was left of the original buildings including a set of stairs that many escaped down to get out of the building and a distorted fire truck impacted by the fall of the one of the Towers. The docents were excellent – I did a free guided tour – turned out her father had been a firefighter on 9/11 when she was 6 but had been reassigned from Downtown to the Bronx on that day so survived but he was heavily involved in the clear up exercise.
Next to the reflecting pools there is a single tree that survived the devastation and continues to get bigger and stronger each year. Good to see that.
The area outside of the museum and pools is much changed. The Freedom Tower – which I have yet to visit (it has an observatory) reaches up high and the Oculus modern design is the “cover” for a new giant Westfield shopping centre and the subway stations. Life goes on ….