Monday, March 26, 2012

Ground Zero

Reflection by TheTurducken
Reflection, a photo by TheTurducken on Flickr.
My weekend guests wanted to visit Ground Zero, so I went there with them for the first time. What I had heard about the plans for the site had not much impressed me, and after seeing the under-construction towers, I still wasn't architectually overwhelmed. The museum itself looks finished on the outside but isn't open yet. (The photo shows two of the new towers reflected by the museum.)

The pools, however, were another story. Leaping fountains are a happy thing, so it's not uncommon for memorials to feature the still waters of a reflecting pool. The two pools at Ground Zero take another tack altogether. Picture a square hole in the ground - the size of an original towers, with water cascading down the sides. The water pools at the bottom and then in the middle it runs down another square hole. The entire effect is unnerving, not to mention impossible to capture with a still camera. The water looks like a pool of souls falling down into nothingness - not that I've ever seen such a thing to compare it to. It really does capture a feeling of loss.

I've been to a lot of monuments, many for events long past and other within the living memory of some people, although not my own. 9/11 is fresher than that, and when we were in the visitor center, a woman starting sobbing and had to leave. It was wrenching to see that kind of loss up-close. I remember 9/11, and it impacted my life, but I wasn't a New Yorker at the time, nor did I know anyone who died in the attacks. I can only imagine the impact the memorial site would have on those who lost someone.

No comments: