9/11 Memorial

Nine Eleven Memorial

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Everybody remembers where they were the day those two hijacked aeroplanes flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre. September 11, 2001.

I’d not long been in a new job after having my second son when my boss ran out of her office and told us all that New York was being bombed.

We gathered around her computer (only senior staff had the internet on their PCs back then) and watched /listened (depending on how close to the desk you were) to the atrocities that were happening across the pond.IMG_4828

As I listened in horror all I could think of was thank goodness it was thousands of miles away.

My boss then looked into all of our eyes and told us all to go home, spend time with our children and that the office was closed for the rest of the day. She was a remarkable leader.

I collected my young sons and did what most people did that afternoon.

I sat and watched the news, trying to explain to my five year eldest son what had happened in New York.  Together we spoke about all of the children who had lost their parents, and parents who had lost their children in those few minutes.

So, nearly twelve years later it felt surreal standing next to the foundations of where those towers used to soar. I wasn’t thousands of miles away now. I was right there, standing in the middle of a massacre site.

As I looked up into the sky I tried to imagine what it must have been like on 9/11 and what it must have been like for those thousands of people who were caught in the towers and had no way out.IMG_4848

It’s difficult not to visit the memorial and not think about those images that are forever photographed into my mind of the towers on fire, the people hanging out of the windows and those who felt that there was nothing else left other than to throw themselves out from the windows.

It could have been easy for the memorial fund to just make the site some sort of tourist circus ground with selling merchandise etc.

The ground is anything but that. It is a respectful place of rest for those souls that perished on that fateful day.

It was refreshing to visit it and for it not to be exploited as a tourist attraction.

Firstly, it is free to enter and the only money you are asked for is a voluntary donation which gives you a wrist band in return. That is all. All money raised through donations is given back to the Memorial Fund.

The site of the two towers is very peaceful even though there are crowds of visitors. Everybody is probably thinking the same thing that I was. What was it like being there on that fateful day?

I felt a long way from home when I was standing beside the South Tower reading all of the names on the stone surfaces which surround the imprint of the Towers foundations.

Listening to the water falling into the foundations also adds to the serenity of the moment.

SURREAL.

MOVING.

NEVER FORGET.

 

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K is for Kids

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MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z BLOGGING CHALLENGE

Only one of my “kids” came to New York with husband and I last summer. The elder of my boys accompanied his grandfather to Ohio for a couple of weeks before meeting up with us for a family week in Vancouver, which was our third and final week away.

As parents we both agree that it’s very important that our children experience as many things that are offered to them as possible.

My eldest son was eight when he first went away with his grandfather to Ireland for five weeks. Then two years later he went to the USA with grandfather for four weeks. It was an awful time for me as I missed him so much, but that certainly wasn’t grounds to not let him go.

Some people don’t understand why I would let my youngish children spent such long periods away from home to go on holidays. I think a bit of it was implying that I was a bad parent for doing it, as I know of some parents who don’t even like their children going away with school for a weekend.

Of I only feel rest when my two boys are in their beds at home, but I love my children and I want them to experience everything they can, even if it means that I miss them dearly for periods of time.

They of course won’t appreciate all of the trips that they have been on already until they are older.

In New York I made sure that my youngest son did lots of different things, so that when he looks back in years to come, hopefully he will be glad he did them.

Things like dancing on the ‘Big’ piano in FAO Schwarz, cycling and horse drawn carriage transportation around Central Park, seeing the stone lions outside the New York Public Library (once we got home and watched Ghostbusters he understood why I made a big deal out of that), watching a baseball game, singing in Times Square, seeing the T-Rex in the Natural History Museum and then watching Night at the Museum when we got home and visiting the 9/11 Memorial Site at the World Trade Center.

Both my boys have been on many holidays and experienced a variety of cultures in their young lives. We’re not rich parents, we don’t have a fancy house, we have no savings but  we both agree that holidays are more important than having a pristine house, fancy cars or a conservatory like some people.

We’ve got plenty of time when the kids are older to spend a fortune on the house. As far as I’m concerned they are only young once and I would rather them have a culturally rich life and look back with fondness on the adventures that their mum and dad took them on, rather than how expensive the wallpaper in the lounge was, or the wooden floor being changed every couple of years.

Travelling was something that came late in life to me. I say late, I was thirty-three when I went on my British Airways fear flight.

Followers of my blog will know that I had a crippling phobia of flying for many years.

The best thing I ever did was investing money into a fear of flying course and a course of hypnotherapy sessions.

Life is certainly enhanced by travelling. The best times of my life are when I am learning about a new country, language or different customs.

With a trip to Egypt coming up later in the year, I hope to visit Sri Lanka, Thailand and maybe Australia one day.

I hope my kids continue to explore this beautiful earth that we live in when they are all grown up with families of their own.

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