Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 memorial, New York City

Ladder Co. 10, Engine Co. 10 was right next door to the Twin Towers.
Read a bit more here

Earlier this year, I went to New York City. One of the highlights of my trip was my visit to the 9/11 Memorial. 

The events of that day, 12 years ago now, are forever remembered by so many of us who witnessed it only on the television news channels. And there is always a lingering sense of being incomplete, of not having grieved properly, and of guilt.

Ladder Co. 10, Engine Co. 10 lost 6 men on that day.
A memorial on the wall of Ladder Co. 10, Engine Co. 10

So carrying these feelings, and a sense of stress and worry, I walked to the 9/11 memorial site from my hotel in Chelsea. It wasn't far. Nothing is far in New York City. And that was something that struck me, too. I tried to imagine being there on that day, on that perfect, beautiful, blue-skied morning. 

The images came back into my mind only so well. The airliners crashing into the towers, the people running, the falling debris, the collapsing buildings, the people helping each other and the survivors and heroes that we all remember. Because everything in the city is pretty much within walking distance, the memorial became that much more urgent and immediate. I must see it. I had to. 

Inside the memorial area, you will see two large fountains.

I was scared. What would I see? How would I feel?

There was the usual security precautions, winding lines of patient people, security staff checking packages, police officers, signs, walls and various checkpoints. But it was all very efficient and we were inside behind the plywood outside walls in no time. 

And the names of the dead are revealed.
Out of so many, here is one person:
Vernon Paul Cherry was a firefighter and a hero

I went there in early May of 2013--the park area is new, green and tranquil. 

The twin towers are gone, of course, and in their place are fountains, big square fountains with deep holes in the middle that seem to go into the very depth of the earth. Around the holes, are walls with the names of the people who died on that terrible day.

The Freedom Tower was completed during the week I was in New York City.
It is right next door to the 9/11 memorial.

I took some photos, but so emotional I wasn't really even aware of what I was taking pictures of. I'm sharing some of these photographs here today.

The Freedom Tower reflected in the broken window at
Ladder Co. 10, Engine Co. 10
The water splashes down and a fine mist floats up,
touching the passersby and making the loss seem so much more tangible.

Some people may think it's a trick of the water, camera and light,
but I like to think it's the souls of the departed, filled with light.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Welcome to HELL. The Hell's Gate Air Tram, that is.

First, of all, The Hell's Gate Air Tram is not the least bit hellish. 

Here, take a look:

You enter Hell's Gate Air Tram from the building on Hwy 97.
Then you descend, in a perfectly safe, Swiss-made air tram
over the terrifying Fraser Canyon, downward, where only
a few minutes later, you reach the other side of the river.

Here is a view from the suspension bridge. The buildings on the left include a museum,
a gift shop, ice cream and fudge, and a nice cafe.
Make sure you take a walk around and see the public art,
 including sculptures and murals.

Check out the Hell's Gate Air Tram website for rates, location, hours and tons of great info.