Monday, August 4, 2014

A Visit to the 9/11 Museum and Memorial

Sunday was a great day. We had two great church services and a super meal that we will not forget any time soon. We have lots of pictures from the day that we will post later. 

Saturday we were ready for a break. We did as much of nothing as we could fit into one day. It was refreshing. 

Friday was a different story. We started Friday by heading back to the train and subway.

We were on our way to the 9/11 Museum. We took the hotel shuttle to the train and the train to Penn Station in New York. We waded through Penn Station and found the platform for the E train. We rode the E train to the end of the line and came up to street level less than 1/2 mile from the Museum. 

Walking up to the 9/11 Memorial was amazing. There is a beautiful park built around the footprint of the old North and South Towers. Within the footprint where each tower stood is a reflecting pool. Each is about an acre in size.

Although there were thousands of people there it was still a tranquil place.

Around the edges of the pool the names of the people that died are engraved.

You enter the museum building above ground but most of the museum is below the reflecting pools.

After entering you descend several floors down a long wide ramp.You see glimpses of the displays from the edges and from and overlook as you go down.

This is the last column removed from the site during demolition. It displayed next to the Slurry Wall.

When it became apparent that this would be the last column removed it became a memorial to those that died especially among the first responders.

Last column during demolition. 

These are the survivor stairs. They were on the outside of the towers leading from the plaza level down to the street. Many hundreds of survivors escaped via these stairs on 9/11. The stairs survived the collapse of the towers pretty much intact. The chips and damage occurred during the demolition phase. They were preserved and placed in a prominent place in the museum.

These are remnants of the original footprint of the towers. These box columns made up the external structure of the towers and went all the way down to bedrock.

They cut these off at foundation level. You can walk the entire perimeter of the North Tower foundation. The South Tower foundation is not entirely visible because the subway still runs through it although there is no longer a stop there. 

You can see how they were secured onto steal plates and thick concrete bases atop the bedrock of Manhattan. 

They are approximately 2' by 2 1/2'.

FDNY Ladder truck #3 responded and parked next to the North Tower. It was destoyed when the tower collapsed and all the 11 responding members of Ladder Company #3 were inside the North Tower and were killed when it collapsed at 10:28 AM.

This is one of two pieces they have displayed called impact steal. It is over 20 feet long and was originally part of the outer structure between the 93rd and 96th floors on the north side of the North Tower. Hijacked flight 11 tore a gash from the 93rd through the 99th floor. It hit directly at the top of this impact steal. This steal was bent and torn from the impact of the plane.

They have also displayed a 35 foot section that was torn from this one in another part of the museum.

There was yet another huge section of steal on display that was bent double by the weight of the building crashing down.

Contrast that with the window below.

There were over 40,000 windows in the twin towers. The window above was in the 82nd floor of the South Tower. When that tower came down a huge section of the facade came down so hard that the steal penetrated the street several feet. In that section of the facade this window was found unbroken. Unbelievable.

This is a 20' section of the 360' antenna that was on top of the North Tower.

This is an original section of the huge trench wall built around the World Trade Center site when construction began in the 1960's. It is called the Slurry Wall. It was designed and installed to keep the water from the Hudson River out. Although damaged when the buildings collapsed, it held. It has since been reinforced.

This is a valve used to allow water through the Slurry Wall from the Hudson River to assist in the AC. It is 5 or 6 feet tall.

After the tour we milled around the plaza between the footprint where the two towers once stood and soaked it all in. It was an amazing and surreal experience. I highly recommend seeing the museum and the memorial.

You can find out much more about the 9/11 Memorial and Museum by downloading a free app. Search for 9/11 Museum Audio Guide in the app store. It is designed to guide you as you move through the museum and we used it Friday. 

But you do not have to be there to listen to the descriptions and commentary. If you like to read the signs or listen to the tour guide you will love this app.  

On our way back to the subway we stopped for Chinese. Wow! It was good!

After we navigated the subway, Penn Station, train station and taxi we made it back to the hotel. 


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