We flew direct to New York City from Asheville, and it was a relatively quick trip, so we were able to actually sight see on our first day in the city. My cousin and her husband live in the city, so Jen picked us up at LaGuardia, and dropped us off at our hotel (about an hour and a half after we landed, because that’s how the city traffic rolls.)
So after a bit of relaxing in the room, we headed down to meet up with Jen and Jeremy at the 9/11 memorial. It’s free, but you have to make reservations. We made the reservations earlier in the week for 6:30. We arrived right on time, and actually walked in a few minutes late.
I took lots of photos of the Freedom Tower, which is still under construction (the last beam had just been lifted into place earlier that week.) The tower is so impressive.
Lights eventually are turned on and light up the names (and the water.)
We grabbed a few copies of the guide to the memorial – it tells you all about how to find the names of the victims, and what each fountain represents (the different flights, the two towers that collapsed.)
Someone had left flowers earlier that day.
We saw the survivor tree. The tree has a pretty amazing story. It had been planted in the 1970s, and somehow survived the attacks. It was still standing under all of the rubble. They saved it, relocated it for a bit, and it survived at least one tough winter storm. It’s much larger and fuller than the other trees that are planted around it. (And it’s tethered until its roots are stronger, I believe.)
Eventually, the plan is to be more of a park, and not this ticketed scene. I think because it’s still under construction, they can’t open it to everyone. Security was intense to get in, but I half expected that.
A memorial wall outside of the 9/11 memorial dedicated to the firefighters who died in the attacks:
Finally, we saw the tower lit up at nighttime, since we stayed in the area for dinner. Beautiful.
It’s still hard for me to believe that we’re approaching the 11th anniversary of the attacks. If you’re ever in New York City, I highly recommend making this one of the spots that you visit.