I stepped off of Track 4 at the Fulton Street Station. I didn’t know what was in store for me as I traveled to ground level. I just figured I would snap some pictures to remember I had visited this memorial. I didn’t know really where I was going; I only knew I was trying to find where they used to stand. My instinct was just to follow a crowd of what looked to be tourist. Then I turned the corner right across from this cute, old looking church. All the sudden it was a wave of silence and emotions. Heaviness weighed on my heart.
I was taken back to that day in 4th grade. We had just came back from P.E. early for some reason. My teacher had this strange look on her face. She usually greeted us with a smile, but today it was different. She turned on the news, and being nine years old I was confused at what I was seeing. I knew it was showing people scared and running, and I saw a building in smoke but wasn’t sure where or what it was saying. My teacher then had to explain to us the situation. How did this amazing woman keep us calm while trying to tell us that our country was under attack? We finished the rest of the day in school, but my mind was still trying to figure out the significance of what was happening. I finished the day and arrived home like usual. No one was home yet so I let myself into the house. Instead of turning on the usual Nickelodeon or Disney Channel, I turned on the news. I sat just a few feet from the television staring at the same footage playing over and over again. I started to get a little scared and began to cry. I didn’t know of the seriousness, but I was frightened.
It wasn’t until being at the site that those fears became a reality. I walked toward where the Twin Towers used to stand and realized this was where that footage took place. This was the place of panic, terror, and sorrow. It was everything I could do to hold back tears. I entered the memorial building overwhelmed with even stronger emotions. It was packed with people, yet not a sound could be heard. It was a eerie quietness. I was drawn to the video on the left wall which was generating the only bit of sound in the room besides the occasional sniffle or rustling of the feet. It played a video on how three separate peoples lives were effected, and I barely made it through without bursting into tears. Then I looked up. A man that if seen on the street would seem very intimidating was wiping away his tears. He felt what I was feeling too. He remembered it more than I. Then I began to cry.
After drying my tears, I exited back to the street. I walked around and noticed the buildings around the site. One stood out to me above the rest. It was on the corner of the street, probably the closest to where the towers would be standing. It had bricks where the windows used to be, and a iron fence blocking a door that looked old and worn. This door had seen it all. This building witnessed everything that happened that tragic day. The structure itself withstood the pressure of the crumbling steel from the falling towers. I wondered what it had seen. I wished I could ask it anything, but especially what was that day like? The only thing I knew was I felt for everyone effected by that experience. I was thankful to have been able to have the perspective of the seriousness be brought back to me at an age I could understand. I stared at the door and prayed for all the lives lost and families hurt by the terrorist attack of 9/11.