New York - September 11, 2015
Photography and Reflection by Phillip Martin
by Phillip Martin
If you are old enough to remember what you were doing fourteen years ago, you remember where you were when you learned about 9/11. I was in Europe. I’d just moved to Belgium and had no television or internet. I heard a little about the attack on the actual day, but I didn't realize the whole impact until the following day when I turned my computer on at work. It was devastating.
Over the years, I've visited Ground Zero a couple of times, but it was usually a big pit with a long line of people surrounding the spot. This year, fourteen years later, I was finally able to visit the site and walk among the fountains. It's hallowed grounds. Several names along the fountains were marked with flowers. The fallen are not forgotten. New York City will never forget them.
There are two museums in the area of the site. On this particular visit, I went to the museum run by the families of those involved in 9/11. I'm sure the other museum is worth the visit, but if you can only go to one, I'd recommend the 9/11 Tribute Center. There was a small exhibition, but the main experience was the guided tour with two 9/11 survivors. In a grassy area around the fountains, in the shadow of One World Trade Center that looked like it reached to heaven on this particular day, the guides shared their stories for nearly an hour and a half.
Tucked into my little neighborhood in Ohio, the events of 9/11 are a terrible thing that happened to the world. But, New York City is far away and the memory of that terror has dimmed a little. For my guides, that memory is still a raw and open wound. Both people suffered physical effects from the materials they breathed during the clean up process. Both knew their lives were going to be shortened because of the events on that terrible day. The death toll would continue to rise. I was so moved as I listened to their stories. And, I know, in another fourteen years, there will be a lot fewer survivors alive to share their experiences. I'm thankful I heard their stories, because I never want to forget them.
Phillip Martin's New York Images 9/11/2015 | New York 9/11/2015 |