Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Visit to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City

9/11 Memorial, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Where were you, on the morning of 9/11/01,
when you heard that two planes crashed into the North and South Towers 
of the World Trade Center?

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
I was living in NYC at the time, and on my way to work.
It was shortly after 9:00am, 
when I got off the bus at 5th Avenue and 43rd Street.
 I wondered why there were so many people outside, looking up to the sky.
When I saw smoke, I figured there was a fire somewhere.
I walked over to the fruit vendor on the corner,
who asked me if I heard about the planes 
that had crashed into the World Trade Center.

Suddenly, I was terrified. 
I remember running to my office in a panic.
Because I worked for a TV network, we had televisions in our offices,
and I heard the news reports blaring out of every office,
people crowded into each made my way down the hall.

I could see the smoke outside of my window all the way from downtown. 

We watched in horror, as a third plane crashed into the Pentagon...
and a fourth went down in Pennsylvania.

When will it stop?
What next?

The South Tower collapsed.
The North Tower collapsed. 

I remember thinking that at some point that I would collapse, as well. 

We worked through the day, because our television programming 
needed to be adjusted due to the tragedy.
When I finally left the office, at about 6pm, 
I walked through midtown, which had become a ghost town.

I was the only person on 5th Avenue, and felt like I was in one of those movies, where all life was gone in NYC.
It was the most eerie feeling, and I was petrified.

Thinking I'd have to walk all the way home to the Upper East Side,
I almost cried with relief when a bus appeared. 
Mr. Goo Shoes opened the apartment door, 
and I pretty much did collapse in his arms.

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
I've been wanting to go see the 9/11 Memorial and Museum 
(I'll show you the museum in another post),
so, when Junior Goo Shoes had a day off from school on Friday, 
we headed into the city. 
Even though he learns about the 9/11 attacks in school,
we thought it was important for him to see where it actually all happened.

After all these years, I still can't get used to the Manhattan skyline 
without the twin towers looming at the southern end.  
As we were driving down the West Side Highway on Friday,
with the new Freedom Tower in sight, 
we were telling Junior Goo Shoes what it was like on that day.
He was only two, at the time. 
Thirteen years later, it still chokes us up to talk about it.

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 The former site of the World Trade Center complex is now a park-like setting, 
housing the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. 

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The  Memorial consists of two reflecting pools,
built on the footprints of where the original towers previously stood.

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
South Tower Reflecting Pool
9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
North Tower Reflecting Pool

They are about an acre in size, and surrounded by man-made waterfalls. 

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The architects who designed the space intended the pools to be "large voids, open and visible reminders of the absence."

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The names of all who perished in the attacks are inscribed on the panels 
surrounding the pools.

So many.

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools, New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Over 400 Swamp White Oak trees surround the memorial plaza,
representing renewal.

Among those trees, there is one tree that stands out as being different.

It's known as the Survivor Tree.

"Survivor Tree" at 9/11 Memorial , New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes 

It was discovered at the Ground Zero site a month after the attacks, 
and was practically dead.
The NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation removed the tree to care for it, 
and nine years later, it was returned to the plaza, healthy and strong.

 It is a "living reminder of resilience, survival and rebirth."

We found it fascinating that it was the only tree in the plaza 

that still had green leaves. 

"Survivor Tree" at 9/11 Memorial , New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Looming behind the Memorial Plaza is the newly completed 
One World Trade Center, aka, the Freedom Tower.
It  has the distinction of being the tallest skyscraper in the US, 
and just opened last week. 

The reflections of clouds in the mirrored facade make it blend into the sky.

One World Trade Center (aka Freedom Tower), New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Here's another view, as we drove by it on our way home,
now with gray skies as the backdrop.

One World Trade Center (aka Freedom Tower), New York City --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

It's hard to believe, but this was our first trip down to Ground Zero 
since the attacks.
Equally unreal, I had only been there once before, many, many years ago,
for drinks at Windows on the World,
which occupied the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower.

Everything gone. 

New landmarks where iconic ones once stood.

Even 13 years later, it's painful to remember...
yet, we must never forget.

Linking with:
Weekend Travel Inspiration
Our World Tuesday


  1. Such a moving post Amy. I remember watching the terror unfold on the tv over here and not being able to move from it in absolute disbelief and horror for those who were there. The memorial looks to be such a respectful place. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. xx

  2. What a beautiful post. I'll never forget that awful day, and watching in disbelief on my computer at work. Thank you for "taking us along" to such an emotional place ... I'm in awe of the memorial.

  3. I knew a number of people who prerished on that terrible day. I will always remember where I was and where my husband was. I remember calling your house to be sure you were OK. I haven't been down there since all of this new beauty and rememberences were completed so than you for sharing this. I hope to get there soon.

  4. Tears reading this. It all comes back. I was in my office here in FL and my Production Coordinator radioed me from the soundstage asking if I had my TV on. At that time only the first plane had hit. Our Producer was in town from NYC (our home office was at 1515 Broadway but our production was based in FL) and he immediately said "this is very wrong. It's an attack". Within seconds of him saying that we saw the second plane hit on live TV.
    Friends of mine in accounting escaped the South tower only because they started heading down the stairs when the first plane hit the North tower.
    That day was hell. Our two little guys weren't born yet and my oldest was only 6. We were far away and felt helpless and just wanted to be with our families. I think everyone in Orlando went home immediately because I recall driving home later in the day and the interstate was almost empty.
    I flew up and visited Ground Zero two weeks later. No words.
    I'd like to get to the memorial soon.
    Thank you for sharing this Amy. xoxo #NeverForget

  5. That day will be in my mind forever. I went downstairs in the old house and turned the TV on and saw the first plane. I couldn't believe my eyes and then the second plane. I couldn't breathe and just called John in the City and I couldn't reach him and was so scared. When he got home I ran down the stairs. He dropped his briefcase grabbed me and cried. It took hours to get home


  6. Reading your description of that horrible day that you yourself experienced , brings chills to my body ( here in WI,years later ) I clearly remember watching it all on TV that day, but I can not imagine being you, and living in the city and going to work, how scary it had to be. I am so happy that you are now safely here, and are still going strong...I am sure you must have nightmares of something so tragic....Thank you for sharing...

  7. I cannot imagine what you felt then or now. I was in New Orleans and with my computer I was able to keep a lot of concerned friends informed, some in other countries. Having survived Hurricane Katrina, one thing I've learned, when you experience a disaster you are stronger for it. Personally and as a nation.
    Thank you for sharing with us.

  8. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult and emotional it was to be in New York that day. I remember watching the Today Show and seeing Katie Couric reacting as the initial reports came in. You could see it in her face. Confusion, then disbelief, then horror. I am in awe of the professionalism that the journalists demonstrated in the face of such unbelievable and terrifying events.

  9. I can't imagine what it must have been like to actually be there and to live through that. It's good for you to share a post like this to let people know your feelings and thoughts.

    We lived in Oklahoma City when the Murrah Bombing happened. I remember specific details like you are mentioning. I was a teacher at the time with my class in line to go on a field trip. When the bomb went off miles away, my door slammed. I knew it was some kind of explosion because my husband is in the commercial explosives business (mining) and I had been around them before. The sadness that overcame our city at the time and for a time after was none I will ever forget as long as I live.

  10. This tower was a long time coming, but worth the wait. It's beautiful, and the story about the tree is quite special.

  11. Thanks for sharing. It was the worst day ever.

  12. Amy, What a beautiful tribute to 9/11, both the memorial and your words and photos. I haven't been, but will make it a priority next time I'm in the city. Thanks once again for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

  13. May we never forget indeed! I was on my way to work when this life changing/world changing thing happened. It was and still is unbelievable. Thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute Amy!

  14. My husband is from Harlem and we have yet to go back and see the memorial. It is harder and harder for him to go back since he left in the late 1980's. Thanks for the tour and hopefully someday we will get there.

  15. Beautiful shots of the memorial!

  16. I remember very well where I was when I learnt about the first attack and when I saw the second plane crash, it makes me cry just to think about it... I lived in Paris then, I was studying at the Sorbonne and in the following weeks, the whole university was evacuated twice by military as they had received information that it might be targetted next... It was a surreal month... One I'll never forget, one that has changed me forever.

    1. This was a very moving post to read and I am sure a difficult one to write. SO thanks for sharing about that fateful day and also showing us what things are like now in that area. The tree is amazing and it is wonderful that it has been replaced back in thee square adn it loks like it is doing really well. This is living. The 2 pools and names are a beautiful tribute to all those who lost their lives that day Have a lovely weekend.

  17. Dear Amy, It is very painful. xo Catherine


PRIVACY POLICY: I will never share your email information with others. I use your email to respond to your comments on my blog, or to interact socially with you.