Hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday season. My wife and I had a wonderful time in New York City. The weather was fairly mild and pleasant compared to last year’s blizzard. On Christmas Day we headed downtown to “Ground Zero” to see the new 9-11 Memorial. We’ve been to NYC plenty of times since September 11, 2001, but this is our first visit to the site of the attacks. I guess dwelling on the events of that day and the loss of my cousin just never fit into previous visits, but after ten years and the dedication of the new memorial it was about time. We chose to go down on Sunday thinking that it wouldn’t be too crowded. The last thing I wanted to do was experience the site amongst a crowd of tourists snapping photographs.
We stepped out of the subway at City Hall and walked the few blocks south to the site. Even on Christmas Day the area was mobbed with tourists and street salesmen peddling 9-11 souvenirs. One of them shoved a collection of images of the most horrific images of the attacks in my face and asked if I was interested. I felt a combination of rage and sadness well up inside of me. As we moved closer it just got worse and by the time we arrived at the entrance to the site I felt emotionally drained and pretty much ready to leave. It was clear that most of the people waiting to get in did not have tickets and the 9-11 Memorial Volunteers did everything they could to move the crowds away. Neither did we. We lined up in a small group around one volunteer and he gestured with his hand for us to vacate the entrance way. He clearly had been engaged in the same gesture all day.