A visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is a transformative experience, worthy of the time by all respectful Americans. The displays are informative and thoughtful, though some are especially disturbing and tough to view.
Perhaps most poignant are the eyewitness accounts lining the walls throughout the exhibit. One in particular will most certainly be seared into the memory of all who read it: “She had a business suit on, her hair all askew,” James Gilroy recounts, having looked on from below at those trapped in the burning towers. “This woman stood there for what seemed like minutes and then she held down her skirt and jumped off the ledge. I thought, how human, how modest, to hold down her skirt before she jumped. I couldn’t watch anymore.”
Upon exiting the museum, my son, who was home at his apartment just three blocks from the World Trade Center on that tragic morning, turned to me and said, “I don’t think I can ever come back here.” I nodded, knowing exactly what he meant. Once is enough, we agreed … but once is a must.
I felt much the same going through the Holocaust Museum in DC….but it was a remembrance completely worthy of its subject. I’m sure the September 11 museum is too. Someday I’ll brace myself, and pay tribute there, too.
Sometimes it’s the smallest detail that can haunt you forever.
Thank you for sharing about your experience. I especially liked the photo you chose to share. Godspell was recently revived on Broadway and the song “Beautiful City” rewritten to reflect a more sober, almost grieving portrait of 9-11. Check it out – like the installations you saw, haunting and definitely necessary. We will never forget….
Thank you for the comment, Lisa. “Haunting and definitely necessary” is a very appropriate description.