Returning to Ground Zero

My first “tourist” activity in New York was a no-brainer: the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

I have always felt a special affinity to this area of the city.  My family was vacationing in the financial district exactly one month prior to the September 11 attacks, so I was lucky enough to experience the the bustle and lively atmosphere of the towers before they were gone.


Inside the World Financial Center, August 2001

Since 2001, I’ve visited New York a few times, but Ground Zero had turned into a perpetual construction zone, so it was hard to get within proximity.

The visit within the museum was moving.  At one point, I came across an escalator that was once situated in front of Vesey Street.  It took a moment to realize this was the same escalator we took daily in August 2001.

The strangest experience I had in the museum was overhearing children ask questions about 9/11.  It’s almost unbelievable to me that the upcoming generation will never know “where they were” that morning.

The Last Column
Upon entering the museum, you are greeted by the iconic “Last Column”.
Antenna from the World Trade Center’s North Tower.
The South Tower foundation.
Rescuers were digging so deep, they began to dig up trash from the original city layers of New York.
“The Survivor Stairs” – my family took this escalator into the WTC every day.
Stuffed heroes for sale.


  • The subway is your friend.  There is a lot of construction in this part of Manhattan.

  • Buy your tickets in advance.  The ticket line gets long, and it’s exposed to the elements.

  • Visit the galleries.  They house the lion’s share of 9/11 artifacts – everything from FDNY suits to a recovered airplane passenger window.

  • If you’re a cryer, you’re gonna need a tissue.


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