Living in downtown NYC right next the the World Trade Center site definitely has it's pluses and minuses. During the day it is tourist central and the construction is non-stop. In the evening it quiets down and the proximity to the Hudson River makes for a nice area to walk Shea.
This was not my first September 11th in NYC but it was my first one living in this apartment. They brought the barricades a couple of nights before and set up the site throughout the night leading up the the morning. There was a hush downtown as traffic was kept to a minimum. As I was walking Shea the echos could be heard of the names being read of the people lost 9 years ago. The family members walked by the front of my apartment building to and from the memorial pool.
This was taken as I was coming back to my apartment. This road is the West Side Highway and was blocked off. It was used as the main walkway for the families. My apartment is in the building in the background. The guards almost didn't let me through the barricade to get back to my apartment.
As I was coming out of my apartment I crossed the barricade and decided to melt in with the families returning from the memorial pool to see where they were headed. We went up to Liberty Street where there is a giant plaque on the wall of the fire station. I caught this little ceremony as these firefighters set out wreaths to honor the fallen.
This one was my Project: 90 Days shot for the 11th. All of the ones in this post were considered, but I felt this one captured it best. This firefighter was showing his son all the names on the plaque of his friends that died and putting flowers nearby.
After I left the area I started walking around, I heard there was a mosque protest and hadn't decided whether I wanted to check it out or not. There were lots of religious groups out pandering their particular dogma. The Christians were especially loud yelling about abortion being murder, Islam is a lie and how homosexuality is a sin. I ignored them as best I could. Then I came across the biggest rally. These were my peeps. Anti-war and anti-religious bigotry. This guy had Veterans for Peace all over him, including tattoos. He was standing with his back to the crowd as if waiting for someone.
I made my way back toward my apartment and heard the sound of bagpipes. There is an pub called O'Hara's right next to the fire station and I noticed lots of firemen and police hanging out drinking beer. Now they were all out in the street yelling "one more song" every time the bagpipes went silent.
I ended the day in New Jersey to get a shot of downtown and the twin lights memorializing the two towers. I remember the first time I saw that years ago. I thought it was very appropriate.
As I reflected on my day, I'm thinking that New Yorkers will view September 11th much more vividly than the rest of the US. I wondered at families dredging up the memory every year and coming down there. Where do you draw the line between paying respects and moving on to allow yourself to heal? As I watch many of the families it was obvious that some people have moved forward in their lives and some people were still stuck in the pain and grief of that day. I wish those people peace and the ability to heal and move on.