I have 12 images for today and one video.
After the Freedom Tower tour we asked one of the guides if there was a good restaurant close by. She recommended a place just a couple of blocks away that had either a Jewish Delicatessen or New York style pizza.
We decided on the delicatessen and it was a real treat. This photo is not mine and was taken off the internet because I was thinking about my stomach more than images.
This also is not my image because I was too busy eating a great sandwich to take a minute to snap a picture. The guy (probably the owner) was hard to understand and he was impatient to say the least. If you were next in line you better have your order ready or you caught some hell from him. Reminded me of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld show.
I was not very adventuresome and just ordered ham and Swiss on some type of bread I couldn’t pronounce. It was very good and all the time we were eating you could hear him yelling at people in line. Move on… What do you want… Well you get the idea.
Our tour of the 9/11 memorial was to start at 2:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Chapel. I couldn’t understand why we had to meet at St. Paul’s a couple of blocks away and I didn’t understand the significance of the Chapel so I only took this one image of the graveyard and nothing of the Chapel. 😦
St. Paul’s Chapel, constructed in 1766, is the oldest church building in Manhattan. Located less than 100 yards from the World Trade Center site, the church became known as “The Little Chapel That Stood” after it survived the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. It is widely believed the church was protected by a giant sycamore tree that was planted in St. Paul’s graveyard.
In the tragic aftermath of 9/11, St. Paul’s Chapel became a haven for rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero. More than 5,000 volunteers worked long hours at the church, cleaning, serving hot meals, and providing comfort to all who came to the church for rest and refuge.
Now I know this is going to sound terrible and it is but I think most of us make snap judgements of people when we first meet them. That’s why the term “First Impression” is used. So as we’re getting validated for the tour I saw this older gentleman and pretty much discounted him as some old fart that was going on the tour. Boy was I wrong!
This is Hal and I wish I knew his last name. He worked for CBS News for 38 years as a writer for shows like Face The Nation, 60 Minutes, and the CBS Evening News. He began the tour by telling us the history of the little Chapel and the comfort and healing it brought to the workers of the clean up of the twin towers. He is 82 years old and walks at WARP speed. No one, even the younger people in the group could keep up with him. He was amazing.
The World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001, cost the city’s economy 143,000 jobs a month and $2.8 billion in lost wages a far greater impact than could be attributed to the recession that had begun earlier that year, according to a study published by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report starkly shows that the attack plunged New York into a deep recession independent of the economic downturn already gripping the city, with the deepest impact on the high-paying jobs in industries that drive the local economy.
Nearly 70 percent of the jobs lost and 86 percent of the wages lost were in fields like finance, insurance and banking.
The First thing we saw after leaving the church was the 11 Tears Memorial. Hal said it was one of the biggest secrets of the 9/11 tragedy. Eleven employees of American Express walked to the North Tower that morning for a meeting. They were on one of the floors hit by the first airplane.
Click here to see my short video of the memorial
Eleven Tears was commissioned by the American Express Corporation in memory of 11 employees who died on 9/11. Located in the ground floor lobby of Three World Financial Center, the memorial is within view of the Trade Center site.
Six artists were invited to submit ideas, including five sculptors and one landscape artist, Ken Smith, with the aim of teaming up for the base area. But Smith had a full vision, and it blew the selection committee away.
As Smith has described it: “Water, light, crystal, stone and metal form a powerful presence in the space that is abstract from a distance and intensely personal up close. Water drops fall from a 11-sided ceiling canopy into a 11-sided black granite reflecting pool of water.”
Suspended over the water surface is a 600-pound natural quartz crystal cut with 11 facets that capture and reflect light in a beautiful way. The names of the 11 victims are inscribed in the pool coping and brief remembrances are set into the pool bottom. The falling tear drops create small ripples in the still water of the pool providing a subtle animation and a quiet sound.”
The project was completed in only seven months and involved more than 100 people. The idea was inspired by French gardens near canals, where the water reflects the sky. Smith felt the massive geometry of the lobby was “controlling and cold” and needed a connection from ceiling to floor and gentle sound and light to help foster a sense of “healing.”
The key partner was Lawrence Stoller of CrystalWorks in Bend, Ore., a world-famous master of cutting and shaping large crystals. Stoller sourced the crystal from Brazil and then completed its shaping in record time – such work typically takes several years. Cutting the crystal into a geometric form with 11 sides was a special challenge.
A mind-boggling part of the creation story is its ending. When the crystal was hung for the first time just before the memorial dedication, it would not hang straight. Stoller and his team jury-rigged a workshop in the basement of the building and re cut and madly re polished the stone to make it work, just in time.
There is an interesting video of the cutting of the crystal and the problems they encountered.
Click here for that video.
To stand in the area of the memorial and the only sound you here is the occasional drops of water that fall on each of the eleven names. Amazing!
I told you in an earlier post about the roses placed by the names of victims. Here is another example of that.
Betty Ann Ong was an American flight attendant aboard American Airlines Flight 11, the first airplane to become hijacked during the September 11 attacks She made a 25 minute call to American Airlines Headquarters and told them what was going on. Only 4 minutes of that call was recorded.
The design of the foot print of the two towers is amazing. The water is to drown out the sounds of the city and the large center of the floor is so that you cannot see the bottom. Signifying that there is no end of our memory for those who lost their lives.
Another view of the memorial. I created this image by taking two separate images and stitching them together to make one.
From beneath ruins, 9/11 rescue workers found an extensively damaged yet still alive Callery pear tree. Its roots and limbs were snapped, trunk blackened by smoldering rubble, yet it was still barely alive.
This tree, a survivor of 9/11 was found in October of 2001 and brought shortly thereafter to the Parks Department’s Arthur Ross Nursery in the Bronx to be replanted. The Callery pear tree was nursed back to health from eight feet tall to 30 feet tall. The tree was returned in 2010 to the National September 11 Memorial and became known as the “Survivor Tree.”
The Survivor Tree is just one symbol of resilience, rebirth, and survival in the face of immense destruction and hate. The tree, which was planted in the 1970’s was charred and mangled, yet bounced back in full healthy form to bloom again every spring.
Todd Beamer who was on flight 93 and helped organize a revolt against the hijackers. His famous words as he was on the phone with his wife was “Let’s Roll.”
A plaque showing the 343 New York Firemen who lost their lives on 9/11 I’ll have more on this memorial on a later post.
Enjoy your day and be careful.