Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Thoughts on 9/11 Memorial and Vietnam War Memorial

My experience of the 9/11 Memorial was rather interesting. I didn’t think it would affect me the way it did because I didn’t personally know anyone from the incident. I felt like a tourist, as if I was going to look at the scenery of New York and take pictures and then leave. But that’s when it hit me – that the 9/11 Memorial is a part of the scene of New York. As a New Yorker, we bear the image of the drastic attack that our nation took on that day. While the attack may have not affected me directly, it has affected the way that others see New York. While there, I realized that there were tons of tourists who were there to take pictures and too look at the pools. I realized though that when I walked up to the pool, my first inclination was not too take a picture. I stopped. I paused. I gave the people who lost their lives a small moment of silence. I felt the need to pay respect for these people even though I knew nothing about them. The same happened at the Vietnam War Memorial. I didn’t know any of the heroes who lost their lives, but I read the letters that were on the wall and sympathized with the families who lost their loved ones. Here, I have a picture that shows the letter from the Vietnam War Memorial and the names from the 9/11 Memorial. I took the picture of this particular name because of the rose that I found laying on top of the name. It spoke to me more than just the rest of the names around the pool with no flower. It was like the flower said to me that somewhere in New York was this person’s family and they were still hurt from the days of the attack. But that was all that I could get from it. However, the Vietnam War letter spoke so much to me. It was like this person was real and you could feel like you know more about this person. A letter turns this soldier almost into an acquaintance or someone that was a family friend. I started to imagine what he looks like, or how he died. I wanted to know more about the author of the letter. Whereas in the picture above it, I wanted to visit the victim’s family and comfort them. I wonder if the 9/11 Memorial is all about New York. I feel as if it was meant to inspire unity in New York, as if it was meant to be a way of saying, “Hey, you may not know this person, but what if you had?”
Now to talk a little bit more in depth about what I thought about the pools in the 9/11 Memorial. I thought that they were interesting because of the two effects that one could could get out of them. The water falling from the sides makes a lot of noise and is very chaotic. When you stand close to the pool, it is the only thing that you can hear except for the people who are standing next to you and talking. It’s this chaotic sound that I think is supposed to remind us of the Chaotic events that occurred on this tragic day. It’s too remind us that while everything in New York may be peaceful now, there was a time when things were dark and when things were getting out of hand. Interestingly enough though, the center of the pool looks so calm. I’ve juxtaposed the two pictures because i wanted to make that comparison. The inside of the pool looks like a nice pond, with a small current pushing the water to the center where it is then dropped off into the square hole. Peaceful. The Sides however have the free falling waterfall that crashes to the bottom in obnoxious sound and even causes a white disturbance in the water. The pools are a blend of chaos and peace, almost as an indication of the blend that New York has been in ever since the attack

Finally, I would like to leave off with this last picture. In it, is a line of names that have flowers on them as seen in the earlier picture, but also a nice statement written to the Pilots in the crash. This note was powerful. It had emotion in ways that the flower of the name did. I picked this to include in my post because I was wondering what people thought was more powerful.








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