It’s been a while since I fought so hard to hold back tears. The museum was heavily crowded, children kept close to their mothers and couples shuffled along in disbelief. Following a short film of personal testimonies from political figures, we were ushered from the theater and into the belly of the World Trade remembrance.
The beginning of the walk was digestible, but erie as hell. Here we all were, standing on ground zero. The floors leading to fallen relics of the World Trade buildings were smooth like that of sculpted ice. We marveled at the tortuted and twisted pieces of steel, weathered by fire and a fall from hundreds of feet.
My experience took a turn as we approached a mangled fire truck. One half was in tact, while the other rest in shambles. “There were eleven firefighters that rode here on this truck, all of them were killed.” I got this sensation inside me that things weren’t right, listening to a man retell tragedy. A lump grew in my throat. “Continue on to the walk through, it takes forty-five minutes but I can assure you it’ll be the highlight of your visit.”
The highlight? Perhaps he shouldn’t have used that word.
The central organ of the World Trade museum was the chronological walk through. I didn’t think I would make it to the end. Overstimulated doesn’t even begin to cover it. Everywhere, the truth of 9/11; The sadness, the death, the desperation. Sirens, photographs, voicemails of passengers. Tears rolled down my face as I turned the corner and saw people preparing to jump. It was all too much, and I had to ask myself if this type of display was ethical.
I completed the walk through. I think it is important to have an experience like that available to the public, it can be too easy to forget what happened. Fear mongering? Conspiracy? Or an honest offering of an event that changed the course of history in America, and the world?
I left the museum feeling imprinted, enlightened to the events of that day. Now I can begin to draw my own conclusions. For that fact, it is well worth the visit.