Nov 19

Remembering the Events of 9/11 in New York

Memorable Event and Memorial does it justice

It seems odd to say that one of the highlights of our New York trip was a visit to the 9-11 Museum and Memorial down at ground zero, but it was.

The exhibition and 9-11 Museum are truly an experience worth walking around. The attacks on the World Trade Center were one of those historic moments that many of us can relive in our memories like a tape playing back. The images are still fresh in our hearts and minds, and I still remember the feeling of being emotionally battered by the images I watched on the TV, but I couldn’t turn them off. I kept watching the images of the event and the aftermath for days after 9/11 – until I was too emotionally drained to take in any additional pain and suffering.

Unfortunately the people of New York couldn’t turn the TV off, they lived and breathed the experience in for months and months after this terror attack.

Memorable Exhibit: The Colour of the Sky on that September Morning

I did take lots of images of the other exhibitions, but don’t feel right sharing them in a blog post as they need to be experienced first hand. But I had to share this memorable exhibit about the colour of the sky on that September morning.

The Colour of the Sky display at the 9-11 Museum New York


No day shall erase you from the Memory of Time. Book IX of The Aeneid by the Roman Poet Virgil


The Colour of the Sky display at the 9-11 Museum New York

This art installation is composed of 2,983 individual watercolour drawings, each a distinct attempt by the artists to remember the colour of the sky on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Finch’s work centres on the idea of memory. What one person perceives as blue might not be the same as what another person sees. Yet, our memories, just like our perception of colour, share a common reference.

The Colour of the Sky display at the 9-11 Museum New YorkMemorable Docent

Ladder 3 Firetruck 9/11 Museum exhibit

Eddie, one of the docents, talked about the team that worked on Ladder 3, a Firetruck that was crushed when the Twin Towers collapsed. He told the story of the firemen that all lost their lives. The front of the truck in unrecognisable, but the back end fared a little better.

Ladder 3 Firetruck 9/11 Museum exhibit Ladder 3 Firetruck 9/11 Museum exhibit

When the group of tourists moved away from the docent, I asked him if he was a New Yorker and was in the city on the day.

He told me that he and his wife had lived in the local area for years, and when after the attack they had to move out of their apartment for many months. They considered moving out of New York and relocating, but realised that this was their home and they wanted to stay. So they moved back into their downtown apartment, and now he spends his days sharing stories of the men and women who experienced that day first hand. I wonder if it is cathartic release to talk through the experience with strangers?

Take time during you #NewYork trip to visit the #911Memorial #911Museum. It's tasteful &… Click To Tweet

The Historical Exhibition

The Historical Exhibition is in the central part of the museum located in the original footprint of the North Tower. No photography is allowed in this exhibition that tells the story of 9/11 using artefacts, images, video and audio recordings and 1st-person testimony. The exhibition is made up of three sequential parts: the Events of the Day, Before 9/11, and After 9/11.

Events of the day presents the day of September 11, 2001 as it unfolded. It provides insight into what was happening on the hijacked airplanes, at the Twin Towers, and at the Pentagon, as well as the courageous actions of first responders and civilians assisting one another, and the experiences of people near and far from the attack sites.
Before 9/11 steps back in time, providing the historical context leading up to 9/11. It examines the World Trade Center as a symbol and a target and addresses the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the evolution of the terrorist network al-Qaeda and the development of the 9/11 plot.
After 9/11 addresses the world after 9/11, presenting a collection of grief and global response. It explores the recovery efforts and rebuilding at the three attack sites through acts of compassion, volunteerism, and public service. It also looks at the questions arising out of 9/11 and the ongoing ramifications, including 9/11-related illnesses and the evolution of national security.

This is the guts, hearts and soul of the 9/11 exhibition, and shouldn’t be missed. It’s a sensory experience that triggers the memories of that day, and you’re transported to a time that you didn’t think you wanted to experience again.

No trip to New York is complete without a trip to this Museum. It’s tasteful, thoughtful, and inspiring.


Map of One World Trade Centre and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Map of One World Trade Centre and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The 9/11 Museum is located between the South Tower and North Tower memorials, which are located in the Twin Tower footprints.

The 9/11 North Pool Memorial

It’s a smart move creating space meant for personal reflection out of water. The hole in the centre of these twin tower foot prints appear to disappear into eternity, and the cycle of the water echoes the cycle of life. Even though you’re in the middle of the city, surrounded by hoards of people, it’s easy to get lost in the movement and still your mind.

9/11 North Tower Memorial

The names of those who lost their lives in this disaster are engraved all the way around these memorial pools, and they’re an unobtrusive but powerful reminder of the scope of the event on 9/11. 9/11 North Tower Memorial

Even if you decide to bypass the museum, make your way downtown and visit these memorial pools. It doesn’t cost anything to pay your respects, and in a life as busy as the ones we inhabit, it’s a good opportunity to stand for a moment and reflect on the severity of the event, and say a little prayer of appreciation for the life you’re allowed to live.

More Information

9/11 Memorial and Museum


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  1. Susanna Kelly

    I can see why this was such a memorable thing on your trip. That moment in time is indeed etched in my mind as well. I can not believe that fire truck, and being one of the brave service people that day. I’ll have to visit here next time i am in NYC.
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    1. Roving Jay

      Yes that fire truck definitely stopped me in my tracks, but the docent’s story was what made me connect to it. The whole place is full of personal stories.
      Roving Jay recently posted..Poetry: The Dementia Wolf is on the ProwlMy Profile

  2. Liz

    I was in NYC few days ago, but couldn’t go to the museum. Seems interesting though. Thanks for your post!

    1. Roving Jay

      You’re welcome Liz
      Roving Jay recently posted..The colours of Autumn in MontclairMy Profile

  3. Ellis

    I can understand this is an impressive place to visit in New York. The politics and lives lost surrounding this event and political actions that have taken place after should be remembered.

    1. Roving Jay

      Impressive and very thought-provoking Ellis.
      Roving Jay recently posted..View of New York from the Top of the RockMy Profile

  4. Karen

    Oh wow, that must have been intense. The different blue tiles is a lovely idea.

    1. Roving Jay

      Yes I loved the idea that people could have such different perceptions of what the sky looked like on that day.
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  5. Milijana

    “What one person perceives as blue might not be the same as what another person sees. Yet, our memories, just like our perception of colour, share a common reference.” What a lovely, true and wise thought!
    I will definitely put the museum on my list when visiting NYC!

    1. Roving Jay

      It’s a memorable experience … although slightly emotionally draining..
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  6. Asia

    This is beautiful. I’m sure I would cry visiting the memorial but I know that it’s worth a visit. I went when it was still under construction and already felt so moved. Thank you for sharing such a powerful post.

    1. Roving Jay

      There’s a central exhibition where you’re not allowed to take photographs … and that was extremely moving. Even a little harrowing, but it is good to remember this event, and get personal eye witness views of the events leading up to it, and the days, months and years following it.
      Roving Jay recently posted..RIP Empire Diner NYCMy Profile

  7. Tamason Gamble

    I can only imagine that this is an emotional place to visit. I vividly remember the events unfolding on my tv screen back in the UK but can not even begin to understand how families and friends feel and still feel each year on the anniversary.

    1. Roving Jay

      I can imagine that this museum becomes a bit of a pilgrimage each year for those affected.
      Roving Jay recently posted..Oh America … I’ve missed your bagelsMy Profile

  8. Katie

    This is such an emotional place to visit and actually really heart breaking! We were so moved when we visited this museum that it is hard to leave without feeling incredible remorse. The art installation is my favourite piece because it shows how incredibly different and similar our opinions can be.

  9. Annette Richmond

    I’ll be in NYC later this year and will definitely be adding this to my itinerary. The last time I was in NY they were building it. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Leslie

    Wow that looks like such an amazing thing to see with your own eyes. It was such a tragic day that Americans should remember as a day of unity and compassion. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Ismael Brown

    How can I forget that tragic event in New York City? It is painful, full of sadness specially the thousands of life that had been lost.
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