This past summer, my wife and I decided to take our first trip to the East Coast. Our destination — The Big Apple in New York. On one of the days, we decided to go to an area we saw 20 years ago and experience what was then called Ground Zero in person.
On this day 20 years ago, both of us were in middle school in our separate states and hadn’t even met each other yet although we both visibly remember how we found out about that fateful day.
Growing up around my grandparents, I always heard about Pearl Harbor and what that day was like for them, and not knowing what that was like, it was very surreal to hear as the news came in on Sept. 11, 2001.
From our locations in Texas and Oklahoma, we both felt shocked by the terror and knew that day would live on in our memories, saddened by the tragedy that took place.
During one of our days on our vacation, we made the decision to visit the museum that now accompanies the area of One World Trade Center and the Twin Towers that once stood.
The tour was self guided although you could get a tour guide for some more money. However, we decided to go at our own pace and felt glad we did because the experience was so surreal in the museum.
Of course, being hundreds of miles away as the attacks occurred, we had thought we knew all that we could about those attacks but the interactive museum gave us a new look on that day.
Walking up to the reflecting pools where the towers once stood, we both got goosebumps just taking in the area that was once so riddled with the tragedy that occurred 20 years ago.
While the area is beautiful now, it was very surreal just watching people walk around in as little as noise as possible to reflect on how the tragedy affected everyone.
When we flew into New York, our hotel shuttle driver asked where we were from and talked to us about how he had lived there for many years.
I was reminded about what he said about how the days after 9/11 were something he will never forget as the city was pretty much shut down. He said, while driving through the downtown area, not much was happening for days and weeks after the attack.
After telling us to enjoy our trip, we spent most of the afternoon hours walking through the tour and soaking in the beauty of the area of what was born out of the tragedy.
The museum is a must visit for anyone who plans a trip to New York City. My wife and I, we just looked at some of the artifacts that the museum had in the area on that day 20 years ago.
Walking into several rooms that said no photographs could be taken at this time out of respect, we knew that going in would bring up some emotions — and for sure, it did.
One of the rooms had impact statements from families and the reading of names of all the victims that occurs every year at the memorial held on 9/11.
As we sat in the museum, we remembered the day like it was yesterday — and to this day we remember how this country was united during that tragic time.
The museum was a 10 out of 10 and was one of the highlights of our trips. Despite it making a sad memory, the last thing we saw was the quote, “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”
This quote has stuck with me and as we remember the tragedy that occurred, I know we will never forget everyone who died during the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.
Andy Morphew is the Sports Editor for The Duncan Banner. To reach him, call 580-255-5354 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.