The 9/11 Memorial Is Haunting, But It's Where So Many Souls Came To Rest
Start writing a post
Sports

The 9/11 Memorial Is Haunting, But It's Where So Many Souls Came To Rest

As I was approaching the grounds of the memorial, the city that never sleeps suddenly seemed hauntingly quiet.

199
9/11 Memorial
Shelby Gerweck

When it comes to traveling, I have always been a sort of history buff, wanting to see historical sights and bask in uniqueness of memorials. When I went to Washington, D.C. in eighth grade, I was the kid that kept saying, "Guys, we are literally stepping on history right now! Our forefathers took these same footsteps!" When I came back to NYC for round two, I decided it was time to visit the 9/11 Memorial, especially because during my first visit, it was all under construction.

We had spent the earlier part of the day exploring the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We came back to Manhattan for a bite to eat, then headed in the direction of the memorial. As we approached Ground Zero, I realized how hauntingly quiet it seemed. Maybe it was because the workday was nearly over or maybe it was because people actually fell nearly silent at such a sight.


Shelby Gerweck


I didn't know what to expect of the memorial. I didn't know that there were not one, but two fountains that symbolized the locations of the north and south towers. The fountains were both roaring and trickling at the same time, and it made me wonder exactly what the explosions sounded like. Would they have been both deafeningly loud and silent?


Shelby Gerweck


I ran my fingers along the names carved into the wall of the memorial. So many names, and at first glance, you can't believe there are that many, but walking around the grounds proves otherwise. There are signs that welcome visitors of the memorial to touch the names. As I read the names, I wonder about their families left behind. How many of them had been in the towers just on happenstance?

I saw white flowers placed on some of the names. At first, I wonder how many families visit the sight to remember their loved ones. Then, I notice a placard that reads that the memorial honors victims with the flowers on what would be their birthdays. I wonder what time of the year sees the most flowers on the memorial.


Shelby Gerweck


It was especially hard to just stand on the same grounds where people met their fate far before they should have. My empathy got the best of me, and I found myself fighting to keep the tears from spilling over. I wanted to cry for the families that were tragically affected by such a devastating loss. I wondered what the victims thought about when they realized that they wouldn't make it out alive.

Some people chose to stand in front of the memorial in smiling pictures. To me, it felt horribly wrong to be standing on the very ground where thousands of people died, smiling in a picture. People had their lives ripped from them, and today, seventeen years later, people would stand smiling in pictures that they would proudly display on their Facebook pages. Some people decided to play in the fountain waters with their fingers and splash water on the names of the victims. One guy even decided to rest his take-out bag on the memorial while he made a phone call.

How horribly disrespectful it was to see how no one respected the lives of all who were lost that day. Thousands of names, thousands of stories left unwritten. Very few mourning the loss of all of those individuals. The names of six individuals were displayed on the North Tower memorial along with the date of February 26, 1993 to honor those who lost their lives in that World Trade Center bombing.


Shelby Gerweck


It is a memorial that will take your breath away when you realize your humanity, when you realize how time is so very numbered, when you realize that thousands went to work that day that never went home. Beautiful, industrial, haunting. The memorial does not stand on the site of the lives lost but is grounded where the souls came to rest.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

It Is July Already?

When you realize we're half way through summer and you did nothing fun

104

Well, the Fourth of July has passed and now you suddenly realize that summer is practically over, and you didn’t do half of the epic fun things you thought you were going to do. For many of us, summer vacation is anything but a “vacation”. Between the hustle of internships and seasonal jobs, we’ve forgotten to have a little fun too. But it’s not too late! With only a few more weeks left of summer vacation, here are five more ways you can take advantage of the rest of what summer has to offer.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Every "Scrubs" Fan NEEDS To Know These Dr. Cox Quotes

Dr. Cox may be the most sarcastic, snarky, and nasty person to ever cross television screens.

688
Every "Scrubs" Fan NEEDS To Know These Dr. Cox Quotes

Dr. Cox may be the most sarcastic, snarky, and nasty person to ever cross television screens. His long-winded commentary and ability to destroy just about anyone made him terrifying and hilarious. Once you broke through his tough persona, Dr. Cox was genuine, caring and dedicated. He wanted the best for his patients and his interns. Here are some of funniest, most sarcastic and downright mean lines that Dr. Cox has said during his stint on Scrubs.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day

If you can be proud of your country on he 4th of July, you can be proud all year long.

6046
Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day
Photo by Rob Martinez on Unsplash

I'm the child of a Marine Veteran. He may have been out of the service by the time I was born, but the Patriotic Pride he lived by has been my family's life line. I grew up with the American Flag hanging in my front porch. My dad has the "Proud to be a Marine" license plate in the front of his car. And red, white, and blue is a completely acceptable way to decorate your living room. But it doesn't end with just that. You need to know why we celebrate freedom.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Katy Perry, "Baby You're a Firework." I don't know if she was referring to the Fourth of July when she was referencing fireworks, but this song has allowed this generation to rejoice. The song "Firework" allows people of all ages to appreciate the lyrics, as the song brings forth a positive state of mind. Unfortunately, just like the song, not every knows what the Fourth of July is actually for. Many just assume it is that one time of year you get to spend time barbecuing and see fireworks light up the sky. Even though many are not aware of the American historical significance, this holiday has annually encouraged people to come together happily, which could very much be the importance of it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Why Fourth Of July is America’s Biggest Frat Party

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

4264

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments