Friday, July 1, 2011

Open The Memorial: Ground Zero Ten Years Later

View from the pedestrian bridge along Liberty Street located south of
the 9/11 Memorial. 

Above three photos: views of the 9/11 Memorial from the Winter Garden at
the World Financial Center.
The upper level of the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center.
(all photos: TheHopefulTraveler)
In two months the world will remember 9/11 in yet another milestone: ten years later. The event will also mark the opening of the 9/11 Memorial amid the continued construction of the new World Trade Center complex. All the photos in this post were taken on July 1, 2011.

View of the Freedom tower (left) and 7 WTC
from the corner of Liberty and Church Street.
Prior to 2001, my visits to lower Manhattan used to take me from Midtown on the subway to the World Trade Center where I might pick up some coffee and then head a few block to watch the opening of the New York Stock Exchange which was one of few free attractions in the city to the lucky few to snag tickets each morning. My morning would continue with exploring more of lower Manhattan or even picking up a ticket at the tkts booth that used be located in the WTC2 lobby.

Visiting New York City in late October 2001, I found a somber New York City. I recall the shuttle ride from the airport and remember the van of passengers looking at disbelief at the changed Manhattan skyline as we crossed a bridge into the city. Everyone was quiet until one passenger remarked "they're gone" which was a statement having a two-fold meaning.

This visitor information booth along Greenwich Street beside 7 WTC.
My visit to Ground Zero the next morning found the remains of the once mighty towers obscured by barricades with makeshift memorials along its perimeter. I walked by the NYSE to confirm that public access to visitor gallery closed indefinitely. It wasn't until riding the subway on the return to midtown that I found my black raincoat covered in tiny specs of dust which were now illuminated in the subway car's fluorescent light. It was a sight that all but sealed an ominous feeling on that chilly morning.

Since then I've visited Ground Zero every year and seen and photographed the progression of the new World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial. Going forward officials hope the site is now referred to these latter two names. Though the events of the 9/11 is something no one can ever forget, the opening of the memorial will be a definitive day of optimism and remembrance.

Visit for more info about visiting the memorial site. Learn more about the progression of the World Trade Center at Find additional information about the new World Trade Center at

Freedom Tower (left), 7 WTC (center) and Tower 4 under construction (right).
Bottom center is the 9/11 Memorial and Museum building. View from
Liberty Street.
The north view from Vesey Street. Tower 4 under construction (right). The
Millennium Hotel, 22 Cortlandt Street and One Liberty Plaza located east of
the World Trade Center.
Freedom Tower and 7 WTC.
Tower 4 (left) and World Financial Center. View from the corner of
Vesey and Church Streets, northeast of the WTC.
Freedom Tower (left) and 7 WTC. View from St. Paul's Chapel.
left to right: unfinished floors of Tower 4, Freedom Tower, 7 WTC and
Post Office Building.
Tower 4 under construction.


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