“Never Forget” was the promise we made 20 years ago on September 11, 2001.
I will never forget walking into the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. The Museum stands on the same space that the Twin Towers used to stand before that fateful day 20 years ago this Saturday.
The Museum is a must if you are ever in New York. But fair warning, go towards the end of your trip when you do not have a big day planned. It is an emotional journey and one that physically shook me. Located at the World Trade Center, the Museum tells the story of 9/11 through media, narratives and a collection of monumental and authentic artifacts, presenting visitors with personal stories of loss, recovery and hope.
You cannot walk through this Museum without feeling connected to those lost and the families that lost loved ones. There are two core museum spaces — the historical exhibition and the memorial exhibition. The permanent collection has a multimedia compilation of more than 40,000 still images, 300 moving images and 3,500 oral recordings and more than 14,000 objects.
The most personal aspect of the Museum is the individual histories of the deceased. In one part of the Museum, you walk through hundreds of banners with names and quotes on them. As you are walking, you hear the actual voice messages left by family members, loved ones, those caught in the towers and on the planes. They are saying, “I love you.” They are saying what they know will be their last goodbye.
Another part of the Museum has a photo of every person who died on 9/11. You may push a button on the display and hear from family members, friends and loved ones about the person’s life before 9/11 – who they were, what they meant to loved ones, what was wonderful and funny about them, what their dreams for the future were. It is haunting and it is beautiful.
There are many ways to visit the Museum remotely. You and your family can learn and explore the Museum from home via their host of online resources found at 911memorial. org.
You may also give to The Never Forget Fund at 911memorial.org to help a new generation learn the lessons of 9/11.
The public is invited to a 9/11 commemorative ceremony Saturday, September 11 at 5 p.m. at the Pleasanton River Park. The 9/11 ceremony is held in conjunction with the Patriot Day 5K/1 mile walk in the Park. You do not have to take part in the 5K to attend the memorial event. Everyone is encouraged and invited to come to stand together to show that Atascosa County has not forgotten those lost on 9/11.
See more details about the event on this week’s front page. Go to the Pleasanton Express Facebook page or the Patriot Day 5K in the Park Facebook page to register. You may also register the day of the event.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher/Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at email@example.com.