Thirteen years ago today, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani responded to Al Qaeda’s tragic attacks by telling the world that, “we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to be stronger than we were before.” Though the loss of thousands of lives is certainly cause for grievance, the strength and patriotism demonstrated by Americans after the attack is something to be celebrated.
Memorials, towers and museums have been constructed in somber memory of those who died on that devastating day. As a new generation of students grows up with little or no recollection of the attack, these memorials promote remembrance, respect and celebration for the tragedy’s victims.
National September 11th Memorial and Museum-New York City
Located on the former grounds of the two World Trade Center buildings, a memorial was built to honor the heroic deeds of those involved in the attacks. Aptly named Reflecting Absence, the memorial consists of a grove of trees surrounding two square pools that shimmer over the former foundations of the towers. Standing strong on the grounds is the “Survivor Tree,” a gallery pear tree that was barely alive when it was found in the rubble of the attack. Having since been revived, the tree is a potent symbol of resiliency and life.
Underground, you will find a museum that holds tens of thousands images and artifacts, including significant pieces of steel from the building. The museums biggest treasure is the collection of nearly 2,000 oral histories from family and friends of the dead.
Pentagon Memorial-Arlington County, Virginia
Dedicated on September 11, 2008 and located just Southwest of the Pentagon building, 184 illuminated benches commemorate the 184 individuals who died in the attack. Each bench is arranged according to the victim’s age and whether they were killed in the Pentagon or on the plane.
Within the Pentagon, the America’s Heroes Memorial and Chapel stands in the very location where the plane hit. Built just one year after the attack, it allows the building’s employees and visitors to pay their respects.