Experiencing 9/11’s 16 year anniversary in NYC

Last night I experienced something I will never forget for the rest of my life. I’m still trying to place my emotions into words. I witnessed the city of New York come together to remember 9/11 16 years later and it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. There was grief, yet compassion. The air was heartbreaking, yet humbling. There was unity. There was loss. Love, life, longing. All the while, the atmosphere was painfully somber.

When a nation remembers devastating attacks it endured, people reflect. It was moving to be in NY in person to experience it all. 16 years ago I was four. I don’t remember 9/11 for where I was that day or what I felt as I heard the news of what happened or how it unfolded. Rather, I remember that day for how I have grown up watching people reflect on it. I have read countless stories, seen news stations cover it in remembrance and have heard so many individuals’ personal recounts. I have grown to feel the loss we experienced that day as a country.

Walking through the 9/11 memorial site on its anniversary was truly surreal. Living in Lower Manhattan now, I am less than a mile from where the Twin Towers used to stand. I see the new One World Trade Center everywhere I go and I walk past it countless times on my daily commute. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be here on that day in 2001. I have so much love for this city, so much respect to its community and so much honor for the ones who responded to save lives on that day.

Near the memorial site outside of FDNY stood a rally of people gathering in the streets. There were speeches, there were tears. Everyone cheered as the beams that honor the Twin Towers lit up and shot into the sky. In the video below you can see the two blue beams:

Gathering with New York City was so special. May we never forget those who were lost and may we always honor those who fought and continue to fight for our country. Pictures below are taken at the 9/11 memorial site near the One World Trade Center and at the two fountain pools (where the towers used to stand). You can read more about the memorial here.

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