Regardless of your politics and despite the fact that thousands of other innocents die all around the world without recognition, 9/11 still represents a horrific event where nearly 3,000 people lost their lives and thousands more lost their loved ones. I knew I'd find it emotional to visit the site but I had no idea just how deeply it would tug at my heart. It's not that visiting the site was necessarily high on my to do list. But I did want to pay my respects at some stage and yesterday was the day.
The two fountains in the footprints of the towers are perfect. I can't think of a more fitting or appropriate memorial. The cascading water drops off into a void; you can't see where it ends.
But the gut wrenchers are the names of the victims inscribed around the fountains. I slowly made my way around, pausing to take note of the names near by me. And each time tears erupted so suddenly and violently that it was impossible to hide them. Every now and then I just needed to find a quiet corner to recompose myself.
And in between those moments I paused to photograph; but it was an uneasy feeling. Trying to capture the spirit of the moment without reducing it to an attraction on a sightseeing tour. I tried to make sure I captured names in most of my pictures so that the memorial and the remembered would not be separated.
But it did bother me a little just how many people were crowding around for group photos in front of the fountains. Another tick on their "NYC must see" list? I know I shouldn't judge.