This morning was pretty emotional as we spent about 3 hours at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Of course I expected the museum to be overwhelming due to all the tragic events that occured that day, but seeing the museum in person, I was in shock. There is so much to see in the museum, you could easily spend an entire day there reading the plaques, listening to voice recordings and short films, and looking at the pictures and recovered artifacts.
The horrific events of 9/11 impacted the lives of so many innocent people and thousands of people have a story to tell about their experience of September 11, 2011. I learned so much at the museum that I did not previously know and was enlightened concerning so much about that day. For me, I would have to say the most impactful portion was a short film compiled of voice recordings of people aboard the 4th flight that crashed into the ground, successfully stopping the plane from flying into the White House. Many of the passengers made calls home to inform their loved ones of their situation and tell them they loved them one last time. I was in tears by the end of it because of how heart wrenching it was. I have to say I have the upmost gratitude and respect to those passengers on the 4th flight who attempted to overtake control of the plane. They gave up their lives to save so many in the White House that day. I have so much respect for those people.
As a photographer, I was amazed at the photographs captured that day. They were breathtaking. In every picture you can just feel the emotions of sheer terror. There was one photojournalist who died while photographing the 9/11 events. Before he died, he said “If I die, at least they’ll still see my photos.” (This is not the exact quote, but it’s my memory of it as we were not permitted to take pictures inside the exhibit). Days after the attacks, the photographer’s roll of film was found and the pictures were developed and are displayed at the museum.
Obviously, I was only 3 years old at the time of 9/11 and I am too young to remember any of it. But, it still impacted me in a small way I never realized until a few years ago. As a child, I remember being scared when planes would fly by. Whenever I would hear the loud engine of a plane flying over whenever I was, I would cover my ears, close my eyes, and wait for the noise to go away. Of course, as a child I didn’t realize the plane had crashed into the towers on purpose. I thought a plane had just hit a building and that that meant a plane could just hit my house, too. Eventually, I grew out of my fear of planes, but recently I realized why I had that fear growing up in the first place.
The museum was eyeopening, impactful, and beautiful. I would say it is a must see if you’re in New York. Definitely make sure to get tickets in advance and go as early as possible! We got there right when it opened and so it was much easier to view all parts of the exhibits. We left around noon the museum was packed!! So get there early!
Outside, the memorial is also so beautiful. The name of every fallen person is engraved into the stone surrounding the fountain. Every year, whenever it is the person’s birthday, the museum puts a rose on their name to remember that person. It is so amazing. We will never forget this day and the people who lost their lives.