Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Visiting the 9/11 Memorial

This past Thursday I had the opportunity to visit the area where the Twin Towers stood for the first time in about 15 years. I don’t have any memories of that first visit unfortunately, but the day they went down will be ingrained in my memory forever.


The first thing I noticed about the memorial site was the design of the Freedom Tower and the surrounding buildings. They all have a beautiful reflective surface that reflects the sky and the surrounding buildings. Together, they create a breathtaking visual effect. I can only imagine how amazing the area will look when all of the construction is finished.

When walking into the memorial, I had some idea of what it would be like based off of descriptions that my friends had given me. The actual memorial however, blew my  ideas out of the water. I was unprepared for the sheer size of the North and South Pools. They really help people who never had an opportunity to visit the original site get an idea of how big these buildings really were.

The color black was used heavily throughout the two pools. Black is traditionally associated with mourning. In the memorial it helps set a somber tone that aids in reflecting on the lives that were lost.

Around the perimeter of the of the pools are the names of the people who lost their lives. Hearing how many people died and actually seeing most of their names were very different experiences for me. Seeing the names helped me better reflect on what a profound tragedy this was.

A common theme that I think I noticed was how the victims of the attacks were themselves, made a part of the memorial in a symbolic sense. When I looked at the names I noticed that they were cut into the bronze rather than written on top. While this was likely done so that the names could “light up” at night, I felt that there was another reason as well. Cutting into something is very different from simply writing on top of it. When a cut is made into something that cut is now a part of that something. The names are part of the memorial and by extension, so are the people.

I think this also applied to the water in the pools. The water flowed out from the area with the names and then plunged deep inside the memorial. I like to think that the water was representative of the people and that by going inside the memorial it was like they were becoming a part of its foundation.



One of my favorite parts of the memorial was the Survivor Tree. After reading its story I was really amazed. I thought it was really cool how it was representative of the resilience of the survivors. On a larger scale it also represents how New York and the country persevered  in the wake of the attack.



1 Artur Brodskiy { 10.11.12 at 2:05 am }

I never thought about how the memorial uses the color black. Nice observation. It was definitely done on purpose as a design element.

2 abc { 01.07.16 at 2:54 am }


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