Monday, September 11, 2006

I had not been to New York since the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001 so the sight of Lower Manhattan from the Atlantic Highlands ferry was confusing. I was looking at Manhattan and thinking it was a recently urbanized Staten Island or Brooklyn or maybe even New Jersey. It didn’t look like the New York I had in my head, but after a look to my left at the Statue of Liberty, I realized I was looking straight on at Lower Manhattan.

We left the ferry at Pier 11, found the subway and made our way to Ground Zero. The first thing I noticed when exiting the subway station at the World Trade Center was the floor tile. It was the original tile and I couldn’t help but think about what was captured in and between the tiles.

We emerged from the station to a streetscape of midsized buildings, a big hole in the ground and glaring sunlight. The sunlight was the most jarring feature; when the Word Trade Centers consumed the space, the sunlight filtered down in specks.

I’m not sure if there is much of a point in writing about two hours of a family vacation. I just couldn’t think of any other way to remember today.

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