After we had enjoyed our cheesecake, it was time to head down to the Financial District as before we hopped on the Staten Island Ferry earlier on in the day, we had bought tickets for the 9-11 Museum which was next to the memorial. At this time we had also seen the mural dedicated to the firemen who had lost their lives on that day, and of course the reminders that the police force were ever vigilant in this area particularly.
As we arrived a little early for our timed entry, we had a look round St Paul’s Chapel, which is the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan. It’s also right across the street from the site where the World Trade Centres both stood before the terrorist attacks of 11/09/11. It was a place where rescuers slept, prayed, pinned up descriptions and photos of their loved ones in a time of grief and mourning after the search period had ended.
It was all very moving inside and gave us a foretaste of how moving the 9-11 Museum and Memorial would be.
I wasn’t expecting to be completely emotionally drained by the visit. Like every other museum we visited, we were always struck by the pride and care that somehow accompanied the exhibits, but here there was obviously a sense of grief, and remembrance for those who had suffered under this terrible occurence both in New York and in the other two planes. We were told to allow two hours for our visit – I was sceptical about this but it is true – there are lots of things to look at, and listen to, in a vast vast space. And it’s not a place where you can rush round and have no emotional connection to – after all, I can remember where I was when we heard about the terrorist attacks, I was 16 and in an AS Level History class at the time.
The Memorial outside was no less moving, we had visited in the day time but it was deserted when we left the museum in the early evening. Two pools which the names of the lost were engraved on.
And here was where our trip to New York came to an end. We were both exhausted (physically and mentally) from our whistle stop tour of New York, and decided to get some rest before our train to Washington DC the following day – our final stop on our trip!