Submitted by Trish Carucci
On Saturday, October 1st, our visit to the 9/11 Memorial was filled with emotions that varied from the three generations that packed our family car on that rainy evening in New York City.
Our three daughters, a student at SUNY Albany, and two juniors at Ossining High School, all too familiar with the flash of a camera didn’t know whether to smile or remain tight-lipped, as I snapped picture after picture of them standing in front of the two breathtaking Memorial Pools, that represented those who lost their lives on 9/11; at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and an open Western field in Pennsylvania including those that died on February 26, 1993, at the World Trade Center.
We recognized the somber feeling that hovered over the small crowd that moved slowly and patiently reading and viewing the information on the walls and in the glass cases in the Visitors Center on the corner of Albany Street. The girls remembered the clear, blue skies of September 11, 2001, and our sense of panic when we arrived early at their school that day. My husband and I appreciated the opportunity to be in the present and allowed to experience this tribute in our favorite city, and my mother-in-law commented, “I am a part of this”. We all knew we felt something, but we weren’t sure exactly how to express it. After all the memorials and museums I had visited as a child and as an adult, this was different. We were All a part of it.
Each corner of the perimeter of the pool embraced a whole new feeling even though looking down, it felt as if you hadn’t taken a step. The water cascading down the walls, and then flowing further down, evoked a sad feeling for those who are left behind. I thought about the family members, and loved ones who will come here, and realized that this was it for them. This is where they will mourn the person whose name illuminated through the shiny, gray concrete. Light penetrated through each inscribed name due to the hallow background, and I viewed it as a way of honoring them. Each light shining through the bronze letters represented not only the life that was lost, but the life that they had lived. I felt gratitude. I was grateful for the sacrifice. I was grateful for the unity of a country, a city, and to be a New Yorker. The 9/11 Memorial is the blue-print, a symbol of forever that….”We Will Never Forget.”