My husband and I were lucky to reserve tickets for the 9/11 memorial site and we visited it last week while on vacation in New York City.
You need to secure tickets in advance (no cost but donations encouraged) and I hear the site is booked for months ahead now.
It's nearly impossible to put into words how the memorial "feels" but here are a few inadequate observations.
1) When you get out of the subway nearest the memorial, you see a small, painted sign that says "9/11 memorial" and an arrow to the right exit. I started crying upon seeing the subway sign, and I don't cry easily.
2) The memorial's main feature consists of two waterfall pools in the footprints of the towers that came down. Each waterfall leads to a pool that is so deep you never see where the water ends. The waterfalls and pools are so vast and impressive that they look like special effects from a dark movie. They are surreal in the best sense of the world.
3) All the names of the victims are etched in stone surrounding the waterfalls. Eleven of the women who died on 9/11 were pregnant and after their names is written: "And her unborn child."
4) It is a somber, serious place and so it seemed so weird that some tourists were snapping happy pictures of themselves, smiling and laughing. I couldn't stop the tears. The memorial in no way brings out happy smiles, in my opinion.
5) It's perfect and beautiful, in my opinion.
6) More to come.
(Photo by Tony Wadden)